Block Guide

A visual references for the design blocks available on the site.

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Participants

3K

Surveys

300

Compliance

23%

Member qualitative sub-sample

155

Statistics

Who we are

OpenResearch is an independent
lab committed to innovative research for the benefit of all. 

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We’re rethinking research. 

Our non-profit lab champions scientific freedom for those who choose to explore open-ended questions without conclusions. Seeking nuanced outcomes through a balance of rigorous research and human experience.

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Insights shouldn’t be kept inside. 

Life’s biggest questions deserve answers that can be shared outside the world of academia.

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Randomized Control Trial (RCT) is the way to understand new social policies. 

Our approach

By comparing a group of people who received a Unconditional cash to an otherwise identical group of people who did not, we can isolate and quantify its effects. 

We randomly selected individuals across two US states. Roughly  one third received $1,000 a month for three years. The rest  received $50 a month for three years and served as a control  group for comparison.

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Research as a public good

At OpenResearch, we strive to share our findings with the world at large. Not just academia. 

We use clear language and multiple mediums to reach as many people as we can. When our work is complete, we publicly share our datasets to benefit the work of our peers

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Key research phases

We completed research at the beginning, middle, and end of the three year program. 

All participants were emailed the same monthly surveys and rotating app activities. To study the effects on children, cognition, employment, financial health, physical and mental health, intrahousehold dynamics, material hardship, mobility, politics, social behaviors, and time use.

In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with a subset of participants. 

In five rounds of open-ended questions, we documented their experiences, decision-making, and constraints to help find solutions.

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Focus on Impact 

We tackle the pivotal issues that affect all people. Drawing on the strengths of traditional academic research with the operational experiences of Silicon Valley’s startup community.

Research for all 

We focus on research with real-world impact on everyone’s life. In addition, we openly share our datasets and learnings to benefit the entire research community.

Within the bigger picture 

We are fiercely independent. Providing scientific freedom to those with questions, not conclusions. Balancing quantitative rigor with human experiences. Partnering with individuals, non-profits, and academia for comprehensive, nuanced outcomes.

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OpenResearch’s Guaranteed Unconditional cash Project is
anything but basic. 

It’s the most comprehensive study of its  kind in US history. Potentially defining  a new social contract for the 21st century.

Unconditional cash Project

We’re giving 3000 people in two states monthly cash payments for three years. 

Approximately one-third will receive $1000 a month. Two-thirds will get $50. How will this affect their lives?

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Research Design

Our research aimed to thoroughly reveal how unconditional cash impacts people’s choices and outcomes.

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We investigate society and technology’s most complex questions as a public good. 

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The US in 2024
Extreme poverty has increased. The middle class is shrinking. Incomes are more unpredictable. 

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Help fund OpenResearch

We believe research is a public good. Our work stands to benefit everyone. Everyone’s help is greatly appreciated. 

Questions

In addition to our own questions, we’d love to hear yours. Please reach out to ask us anything. 

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It's time for a new approach. 

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Failure to meet people’s needs

Current social spending fails to prepare
people for rapid changes in the labor market. 

OpenResearch’s study is among the first to explore the outcomes of unconditional cash. From mental, physical, and financial health to time use, child well-being, and employment.

Research institutions can be better

Research should be more groundbreaking, comprehensive, and accessible. 

OpenResearch is unafraid to ask open-ended questions in the pursuit of filling knowledge gaps. We are committed to sharing our findings to all.

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At the time of enrollment: 

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All of the participants were within 300% of the federal poverty level.

The sample included rural, suburban, and urban areas in two US states.

The sample included a diversity of racial background.

We ensured participants would not lose existing benefits. Even passing a law in one state to do so.

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There are more questions than answers about unconditional cash. How might social spending affect the future of work? Can it alleviate poverty? End it completely? 

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What will the experts say?

Leaders in economics, public health, and criminal justice are tracking how individuals in the study are spending their time and money. 

What will the tests say? 

Additional research is being done to monitor the payments’ effects on participants’ mental and physical health, as well as their children and social networks. 

What will the bottom line say?

How does a basic level of economic security impact one’s ability to cope (or thrive) in the midst of volatility and uncertainty? 

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1 dataset = 1000 insights into barriers, choices, and experiences 

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External Data Sources

We utilize subjective and objective sources including:
  • National Student Clearinghouse Educational Records

  • National Voter Records

  • Credit Card and Bank Account Transaction Data

  • Geospatial Neighborhood Quality Data

  • Administrative data

  • Kelly Blue Book Car Valuations

  • LabCorp Collected Biomarker Data

  • Experian Credit Scores

  • Social Security and Benefit Receipt Records

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Karina Dotson
Research & Insights Manager

“The comprehensive use of both quantitative and qualitative analysis allows us to delve into the complexities of people's lives. We are able to capture their nuanced experiences with rich qualitative narratives and also explore the causal factors behind those experiences with our quantitative data. This holistic approach is what drew me to the project and what I believe is foundational to creating change.”

Elizabeth Rhodes
Research Director

“No single study can answer all questions about unconditional cash. Our goal is to learn from participants’ experiences and better understand the ways in which unconditional cash can — and cannot — help people navigate the challenges they face. We view this study as a foundation for a broad research agenda on how to best support individuals and families both now and in the future.”

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