Numerous studies all agree that cash transfers are not spent on alcohol or tobacco (see this World Bank review). A study in Uganda giving cash to drug users also found that the money wasn’t wasted on more drugs. And a basic income experiment in Canada in the 1970s found that hospitalizations fell dramatically, which wouldn’t be expected if drug use rose. Cash transfers across multiple geographies and domains are generally used for essential needs like food and housing, and on children’s education and well-being.

Co-founder & CEO of PolicyEngine. Founder & president of the UBI Center. Economist. Alum of UC Berkeley & MIT. YIMBY. CCLer. Former Google data scientist.

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