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Submitted by Berk Ozler on
Hi Sean,

Thanks. On (1), yes. On (2), my statement is just about HS(18), while the quote from HS' guest blog post is more generally about cash transfers. So, they don't really need to be reconciled per se.

There is too solid evidence, true, on consumption, mental health, nutrition, but they're all contemporaneous with transfers (or measured soon afterwards), and may not last after transfers stop (Sandefur covered this bit well in his CGD blog post last wee). To me, that's not really news - the protection role is proven: and, some people think that's all you should expect from cash transfers. Some, however, were hoping for more: one-off programs should get you over a hump, to a much better equilibrium...

My feeling on the latter is that we have a recent, still small, body of evidence that suggests that UCTs to general populations (rather than selected ones, such as microenterprise owners, etc.) may speed convergence to a slightly better steady-state equilibrium, but perhaps will not get them over a poverty trap by removing credit constraints. There may be exceptions (target population being suitable, adding intensive training to cash a la TUP programs, etc.), but we don't have the evidence that they have sustained, long-term effects that are large.

Berk.