Tuesday, February 11, 2014


This article about a guaranteed basic income from the government contains this surprise:
According to Steven Pressman, an economist at Monmouth University in New Jersey and the co-editor of a 2005 book on the basic income guarantee, the idea suffered another blow in that period, when it was given a field test: a series of extraordinary social science experiments conducted between 1968 and 1980 in a number of US states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Colorado.

In randomized trials, some households got unconditional cash transfers; others were assigned to “control groups” that did not.

The results confirmed the suspicions of skeptics: People who got the money worked less. Specifically, a small but significant percentage of secondary earners, typically women, reduced their working hours or dropped out of the labor force entirely. On top of that, the results showed that married couples who received cash transfers were more likely to get divorced.
So, the fact that women preferred to spend more time with their children is a bad thing?


Ken Hoop said...

I believe with respect to the author's assertion, Krugman termed it small and insignificant.

Steve J. said...

Thanx, Ken!