Can $500 a Month Change Your Life?
So far, economists have spent little time examining what, exactly, people spend money on when they get regular infusions of cash. But Alaska, which distributes a dividend from its oil revenues to all residents each year, offers a glimpse. A study found that when the money comes in every October, consumption on smaller items—things like clothes and restaurants—goes up, but not necessarily on big investments like cars and houses.
That seems to indicate, explained Ioana Marinescu, a University of Pennsylvania economist who has studied basic income, that “when people receive additional cash they spend quite a bit of it quite fast and on daily expenses.”