MichaelPlant comments on Cash transfers are not necessarily wealth transfers - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelPlant 07 December 2017 03:06:59PM 1 point [-]

Like Tom, I'm a bit uncertain as to the target or upshot of your argument. Are you claiming that GD's wealth transfers go to status goods and therefore they won't increase happiness? If so, then Tom pointing out not very much money goes on education would seem to undermine that, unless you think the rest of the expenditure is status goods too.

Another argument you could make to undermine cash transfers is that the non-comparative part of their effect (presuming it exists, which is probably does) is just quite small or short lived. In the 'Your Gain Is My Pain' paper on p32 they show the effect only lasts a few months. I discuss this in my EAG London talk which I'm hoping will go up soon. Basically I don't cash transfers do nearly as well in terms of life satisfaction as mental health interventions. So we should just fund MH interventions instead, in as much as we're concerned about the happiness of recipients.