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Report

Cash Transfers and Temptation Goods: A review of global evidence

2014 — By David K. Evans, Anna Popova

Cash transfers have been demonstrated to improve education and health outcomes and alleviate poverty in various contexts. However, policy makers and others often express concern that poor households will use transfers to buy alcohol, tobacco, or other “temptation goods”.

This paper reviews 19 studies with quantitative evidence on the impact of cash transfers on temptation goods, as well as 11 studies that surveyed the number of respondents who reported they used transfers for temptation goods. Almost without exception, the report finds  either no significant impact or a significant negative impact of transfers on temptation goods.