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Episode 494: What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?

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Episode 494: What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?

Podcast

Episode 494: What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?

Episode 494: What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/243967328/244022713" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Giving money with no strings attached improved lives in rural Kenya. Could it work in a poor, war-scarred city like Monrovia, Liberia?
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

There's a charity called GiveDirectly that gives money to poor people in Kenya — no strings attached.

When we did a story about GiveDirectly earlier this year, they told us we needed to check back in. It turned out, they were in the middle of a big study designed to figure out what happens when people get money for nothing. Do they invest it? Waste it? Something in between?

Now, the results of the study are in. Update: The results are here (PDF).

On today's show: What happens when you give farmers in Kenya more money than they've ever had? Also: giving money to thieves and drug addicts in a country that's much worse off than Kenya.

Music: Delta Spirit's "Money Saves" and Kid Cudi, MGMT, Ratatat's "Pursuit of Happiness (nightmare)." Find us: Twitter/Facebook/Spotify/Tumblr.