Recipients of monthly payments are twice as likely to get full-time employment than others, according to data from a pair of independent researchers, Stacia West of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Amy Castro Baker of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the money allocated was spent on food or other necessities. Tobacco or alcohol accounted for less than 1% of tracked purchases.
“The data shows that, especially in a pandemic, it is not a sensible policy to make fewer people eligible for what we know is necessary and necessary,”
It is funded by the Economic Security Project, a charity led in part by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.
The tech giants have shifted their weight behind universal basic income as automation has led to job losses, testing the idea in Stockton, a suburban town between the Gulf Liberal Zone and Silicon Valley and more conservative rural districts to the east.
The results were collected before the coronavirus pandemic hit the US economy, and a second study is expected to be published next year, according to the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED).
The findings give an idea of how money can change a person’s behavior in a crisis like a pandemic, according to researchers.
The study’s authors said they believe pay recipients are better able to set goals and have their own agency looking for a more stable job. They were also less anxious and depressed, and were less likely to experience fatigue or body aches associated with poor emotional health.
Recipients, especially those in less financially stable families, have also expanded their resources to help feed their households and others.
The study’s recipient, Tomasz Vargas Jr., said his overall health had improved and he was able to spend more time with his children and wife. Vargas, who was previously a warehouse manager, also found a full-time job after receiving regular payments.
“It was a big change in my life,” Vargas told reporters on Wednesday. “I was very depressed. I was down and out. I was at the bottom. SEED brought me back, gave me this chance, this opportunity. “
The positive stories in Stockton have already led leaders in other cities to consider implementing a similar project: Dozens of mayors have joined a guaranteed income protection initiative and several pilots in cities, including St. Paul, Minnesota and Compton, California, have already begun.
“The survey shows what mayors know: People work, but the economy doesn’t,” said St. Paul’s Mayor Melvin Carter.