India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care

India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care

It’s an important question, because India makes widespread use of cash transfers and is contemplating a universal basic income — cash for everyone. One of the things that appeal to development experts and donors about direct cash transfers is that they’re not paternalistic. Instead of deciding how money is spent, you give people the money, trusting that they have a better idea of their needs than you do and that they’ll spend it wisely. This mostly holds up; studies have found that cash transfers are largely spent on food, housing, and education, and don’t…

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