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Could Universal Basic Income out-perform conventional Overseas Aid?

Geoff Riley

5th April 2018

A village in Kenya is part of a trial with a universal basic income scheme in which all residents are given $20 a month for each of the next twelve years. How are people spending the money? What might it reveal about the economic lives of those in extreme poverty? Might a universal basic income offering direct cash transfers provide a more effective way of lifting people out of poverty than conventional forms of aid? This BBC video report provides some insights.


This is a randomised controlled trial organised by the US charity GiveDirectly.

All residents of about 120 rural Kenyan villages, comprising more than 16,000 people in total, will receive some type of unconditional cash transfers during the experiment; some of these villages, moreover, will receive the universal basic income for twelve years. 

More here from Business Insider(article published in January 2018)

This podcast is also worth listening to

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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