This is a better way to help the poor than just throwing cash at them, studies show

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This is a better way to help the poor than just throwing cash at them, studies show

Post by *THE Ben Reilly* on Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:43 am

Just an excerpt, check out the link for the whole article.

Graduation programs try to target the very poorest people in already very poor countries. Instead of only giving cash, they give valuable assets (which could be money but could also be an animal like a goat or cow, or equipment like a bicycle or sewing machine) as well as training, mentoring, and ongoing support (and sometimes some cash too, to buy food and keep people going). The hope is that giving some startup capital and some business skills helps recipients build a small ongoing enterprise — a small vegetable or dairy farming operation, say, or a bicycle messenger service, or a seamstress shop. That, in turn, is meant to enable a durable escape from poverty.

Think of it as the “teach someone to fish” approach, to cash’s “just give them the fish already” approach — though it’s still more “give them a fish” than microfinance, which took a similar approach but forced beneficiaries to pay back the asset grant with interest.

I’ve generally been skeptical of “teach someone to fish” approaches to development, not because they’re a bad idea conceptually but because we’ve often struggled to figure out how to teach people to fish effectively.

But recent research has suggested the graduation approach is promising. A massive randomized study published in 2015 by a murderer’s row of prominent development economists — including Northwestern’s head Karlan and MIT’s Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, among others — found that a graduation program tested in Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Pakistan, and Peru significantly increased income and savings, reduced hunger and missed meals, and improved mental health, on average. It worked in every country but Honduras, where people fell behind when the chickens they were given died of disease.

The TL/DR on this one is, throwing cash at poor people actually works great. But the "teaching a man to fish" method can be even better.

Sometimes people really don't know how best to spend their own money. If I'm to be really objective about it, I know I've thrown away a lot of money in my life with nothing to show for it. Think thousands of dollars worth of musical and recording equipment ...

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/15/17938112/cash-graduation-extreme-poverty-uganda-south-sudan

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Re: This is a better way to help the poor than just throwing cash at them, studies show

Post by Original Quill on Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:50 am

I don't know. Sounds like socialism, to me.

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Re: This is a better way to help the poor than just throwing cash at them, studies show

Post by *THE Ben Reilly* on Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:02 am

Original Quill wrote:I don't know.  Sounds like socialism, to me.

Okay, well, what if we were to hand out bootstraps? Laughing

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Re: This is a better way to help the poor than just throwing cash at them, studies show

Post by Original Quill on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:47 am

Socialism with no heft to it.

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