Data from 7 studies (RCTs) across the world (Mexico, Morocco, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Indonesia) suggests that there is "no systematic evidence that cash transfers discourage work" (make people lazy).
almost all of the studies that ask this question consistently deliver one piece of good news—we do not find evidence that the cash transfers are more likely to be used for buying alcohol or intoxicants—not only are the effects not significant, they are actually small or even negative
(article) reviews 19 studies with quantitative evidence on the impact of cash transfers on temptation good expenditure, as well as 11 studies that surveyed whether respondents reported they used transfers to purchase temptation goods. We conduct a meta-analysis to gauge the average impact of transfers on temptation goods. Results show that on average cash transfers have a significant negative effect on total expenditures on temptation goods, equal to −0.18 standard deviations.
This calls for a significant updation of our mental priors and biases. The evidence is contradicting what's supposedly intuitively obvious. It doesn't mean that no one spends on alcohol. It means that our mental model of "all those receiving money lining up at the alcohol shop" is an exaggeration. People spending (cash transfers') money on alcohol may be an exception but not a norm as we think.
Of course, it may vary with context but the evidence suggests that we should at least reconsider the weight assigned to these arguments. David Evans writes this in his blog
So you can be for cash transfers or against cash transfers, but don’t be against them because you think the poor will use the money on temptation goods. They won’t.It's a good example of how intuitively obvious reasoning and strong anecdotal evidence can blinker our thinking. The question then is - why is the evidence contrary to our intuition?
People's usual wage income doesn't come with this labels, so its spending pattern is different. The evidence suggests that spending pattern of money earned through wages can't be extended to money obtained through other means.