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The New Yorker

The Promising Results of a Citywide Basic-Income Experiment

Two professors of social work, Amy Castro Baker, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Stacia Martin-West, of the University of Tennessee, who have conducted research together on the gender and racial wealth gaps, were brought on to help design the pilot and evaluate the results.

In designing the logistics of the program, they emphasized “rethinking our safety net with an anchor of justice and dignity,” as Castro Baker put it, while addressing “inequality predicated on racism and sexism.”

Each month, participants receive payments on a debit card, which the researchers are able to track. No restrictions are placed on what the money can be used for; if participants don’t want their expenses tracked or prefer to use cash, they can transfer the money off the card. Castro Baker and Martin-West have also been studying the well-being of people in a control group who did not receive payments.