If you really are willing to contribute some money, GiveDirectly.org is doing a pretty rigorous study. They have already raised $22.8MM, and want to raise $7.2MM more
GiveDirectly is working with leading economists to organize an ambitious experiment that will rigorously test the impact of different models of basic income over 12 years in Kenya.
Here's how the experiment will work
Working in rural Kenya, we'll conduct a randomized control trial comparing 4 groups of villages:
Long-term basic income: 40 villages with recipients receiving roughly $0.75 (nominal) per adult per day, delivered monthly for 12 years
Short-term basic income: 80 villages with recipients receiving the same monthly amount, but only for 2 years
Lump sum payments: 80 villages with recipients receiving a lump sum payment equivalent to the total value of payments of the short-term stream
Control group: 100 villages not receiving cash transfers
More than 26,000 people will receive some type of cash transfer, with more than 6,000 receiving a long-term basic income.
We will use an independent contractor for all research surveying, publicly register the study to mitigate publication bias, and publish a pre-analysis plan that will guide how analysis is conducted to prevent cherry-picking.
While payments for the long-term group will continue for 12 years, we'll have results on how long-term cash transfers influence short-term decisions and welfare within the first 1-2 years. Here's what we'll learn
Comparing the first and second groups of villages will shed light on how important the guarantee of future transfers is for outcomes today (e.g. taking a risk like starting a business). The comparison between the second and third groups will let us understand how breaking up a given amount of money affects its impact.
We will assess the impact of a basic income against a broad set of metrics, including: economic status (income, assets, standard of living), time use (work, education, leisure, community involvement), risk-taking (migrating, starting businesses), gender relations (especially female empowerment), aspirations and outlook on life