Universal Basic Income in the Developing World

Produced by: 
National Bureau of Economic Research
Available from: 
February 2019
Paper author(s): 
Abhijit Banerjee
Paul Niehaus
Tavneet Suri
Topic: 
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness
Year: 
2019

Should developing countries give everyone enough money to live on? Interest in this idea has grown enormously in recent years, reflecting both positive results from a number of existing cash transfer programs and also dissatisfaction with the perceived limitations of piecemeal, targeted approaches to reducing extreme poverty. We discuss what we know (and what we do not) about three questions: what recipients would likely do with the incremental income, whether this would unlock further economic growth, and the potential consequences of giving the money to everyone (as opposed to targeting it).

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