LISTEN: Alaska PFD dollars lead to less childhood obesity

Alaskans wait in line to file their Permanent Fund dividend applications in downtown Anchorage in March 2016. (Photo: Rachel Waldholz, APRN)

The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend decreases the likelihood an Alaskan child will be obese. And for each dollar in PFD money a kid gets, there’s a return of more than a dollar, in terms of how much less they’ll have to spend on health care.

That’s according to a study by economist Mouhcine Guettabi and his colleagues at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. Guettabi calls the PFD the closest thing to a real universal basic income in the world, and there is growing interest in how providing people with a universal basic income might affect their health.

Guettabi wrote up the findings in a recent piece for Scientific American and talked about it with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove.

Listen here: