Giving money to the poor

It’s a radical idea, but one which should be loved by any neoclassical economist.

The idea was discussed in a book I recently read and would recommend to anyone wanting to know more about development programs. They started by talking about positive evidence for conditional transfer programs, that is paying poor families to send there children to school, or get there health checks and so on, but then suggesting that similar results had been seen in non conditional payments.

I will be watching this study, I will be interested to see how effective it is. I tend not to think people are rational, rather that any rational behaviour is the result of being to about to fight the big mess of neural nets  that is our brain and do the kind of decision making which it wasn’t developed for, but I also think that people on the ground are experts on their own situations, they live it, they understand more than I could it doesn’t mean they will act rationally, but they have a head start on an outsider who might completely misunderstand and put there food in it.

I have talked in the past about trusting women, and so I have a similar bias to trust everyone in the majority world as well.

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