First Year Findings

Income Volatility
Would pay for an unexpected $400 emergency expense with cash or a cash equivalent
How does GI impact monthly income volatility?

Income volatility is the month over month variation in income. If you have the same income every month, then your income volatility is 0%. The $500 group had less income volatility than the comparison group.

$500 Group: 46.4%
Comparison Group: 67.5%

Less volatility in monthly income allowed families to stabilize and plan for the future.

Data are collected from people in Stockton whose addresses were randomly selected.
Selectees were randomly assigned to a treatment group that receives $500 per month, or to a comparison/control group that does not receive the money.
Health and Wellbeing
Estimated Marginal Means of Kessler
How do changes in income volatility impact psychological health and physical wellbeing?

People receiving the $500 were less anxious and depressed than the comparison group. They also showed improvement in emotional health, energy, and emotional wellbeing.

“I had panic attacks and anxiety. I was at the point where I had to take a pill for it. And I haven’t even touched them in awhile. I used to carry them on me all the time.”

Card received by $500 group.

Kessler 10 Pyschological Distress Scale

The Kessler 10 is a psychological distress scale that detects anxiety and depression. This is a psychological distress scale based on question about anxiety and depression. We tested for within group effects, or how the $500 group looks at each wave compared to their own baseline, and did the same for the comparison group. Within-group effects for the $500 group show that the $500 group had statistically significant improvement in psychological distress over time. However, compared to the comparison group’s own scores at baseline, the comparison group did not show significant improvement over time.

The next tests for between group effects. Here, we show that the $500 group had statistically significantly improvements compared to the comparison group over time. The chart above better illustrates these impacts.

Employment and Agency
Shift Toward Full Time Employment
Employment and Risk-Taking
  • The $500 removed material barriers to full-time employment and created capacity for goal-setting and risk-taking
  • The scale of risk-taking and goal-setting was somewhat curtailed by limits of care-work

“I think one thing is definitely risk. You can take so much risk. I - there was a time, I - the only reason I believe I got the internship was because of me taking the risk of not - of having to quit a job before and knowing that I have that money. . I could sustain myself until this new opportunity came around, and I was able to take it.”
Freedom from Forced Vulnerability
“Poverty means lack of choice. You’re forced in ways you don’t want to be.”
Photo of family smiling