This New York Times piece highlights the growing case for making cash grants to fight poverty. Results are showing that “sometimes people just eat better or live in better homes. Often, though, they start businesses and earn more.”
The idea that poor individuals are unable to make rational financials decisions is a long held misconception that donors are often guilty of holding.
“Here in New York, the Opportunity NYC Family Rewards program has experimented with cash transfers to poor families. It sent $8,700 over three years to thousands of families. A randomized evaluation showed that self-employment went up and hunger and extreme hardship went down, at least while the cash transfers lasted.”