Thursday, June 16, 2022

Moms receiving cash benefits spend no more on cigarettes, alcohol, and opioids, study finds

From Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

A link to the paper by Baby's First Years is included below

The potential impact of unrestricted cash aid for Americans with low incomes has long been a topic of debate in policy circles, and the COVID-19 pandemic forced an unexpected experiment through programs such as the expanded Child Tax Credit. Offering crucial context for the cash aid debate was the first set of results from the Baby’s First Years project, the first study in the United States to assess the impact of poverty reduction on family life and infant and toddler’s cognitive, emotional, and brain development. BFY has released a new paper looking at whether mothers receiving cash aid through the study spent more on cigarettes, opioids, and alcohol. One of the authors, Greg J. Duncan, an economist at the University of California, Irvine, spoke to Spotlight recently about the results.The transcript of that conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.