Analyzing survey results, researchers found that public sentiment generally favors in-kind donation to in-cash donations, largely for paternalistic reasons. This finding was true across almost all demographics (including those receiving transfers), though these preferences were affected in some cases by attempts to inform survey participants of the value of choice.
Abstract and Citation
Liscow, Zachary D. and Pershing, Abigail D., Why Is So Much Redistribution In-Kind and Not in Cash? Evidence from a Survey Experiment (January 2022). National Tax Journal (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3672415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3672415