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Dylan Matthews: “A new study debunks one of the biggest arguments agains basic income”

Trucks transporting PAL boxes. Credit to: Jesse M. Cunha and Giacomo De Giorgi


Vox Media, a USA online news outlet looks at a food support program in Mexico aimed at its poorest citizens, as a recent article shows. The program PAL (in Spanish “Programa de Apoyo Alimentario [Food Support Program]”) was first initiated in 2003 and has been closely monitored over the years. This program included, as a part of its roll out, three groups: one receiving in-kind transfers (food), another cash transfers with no strings attached and another still got nothing (control group). Recent findings indicate that there have been absolutely no inflation indicators during or related to the program (in kind or cash groups). Critics have been concerned about basic income programs leading to uncontrollable inflation. In fact, for almost 15 years now participants in the PAL program have enjoyed better nutrition and health outcomes, as well as lower prices in larger centres with greater competition and no inflationary outcomes have been found.


More information at:

Jesse M. Cunha and Giacomo De Giorgi, “The price effects of cash versus in-kind transfers”, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Staff Reports, August 2015

Dylan Matthews, “A new study debunks one of the biggest arguments against basic income”, Vox, September 20th 2017

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 211 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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