Building a Helicopter: Pathways for Targeting & Distributing a US Guaranteed Income

"Unprecedented levels of unemployment and income loss stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have left many Americans unable to afford basic necessities such as food and housing. In response, governments, philanthropies and nonprofits have turned to temporary unconditional cash assistance. This process has revealed major weaknesses in our existing systems for distributing “helicopter money” – emergency infusions of cash. This paper asks: what kind of identification and disbursement architecture do we need to do better?



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