The Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Consumption: Evidence from the United States

Direct, unconditional cash transfers have been proposed as a poverty alleviation policy in the United States. Yet to fully evaluate cash transfer policies, researchers need an understanding of what beneficiaries choose to consume as a result and how such transfers affect the variance of consumption. Despite the potential of cash transfers to improve beneficiaries’ welfare, we still have relatively little evidence on how they affect consumption volatility, financial resilience, and the take-up of in-kind benefits. This project will provide new evidence on these questions in the U.S. context by evaluating a 3-year unconditional cash transfer RCT with 3,000 participants across two states.

RFP Cycle:
SPRI RFP XII [May 2020]
United States of America
  • Sarah Miller
  • Alex Bartick
  • Elizabeth Rhodes
  • Eva Vivalt
  • Full project