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Universal Basic Income: Some Theoretical Aspects

Maitreesh Ghatak and Francois Maniquet

No 13635, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: In this paper, we review possible theoretical justifications of a universal basic income (UBI) scheme and also examine the determinants of its feasibility and scope. We begin by contrasting the unconditionality of UBI with the many conditions that typically accompany other welfare policies. Possible justifications for an unconditional UBI range from pure normative reasons to practical reasons due to the problem of screening beneficiaries and imperfections in institutions in charge of implementing tax and welfare policies. We also explore theoretically the conditions that determine the feasibility and size of a UBI. The broad picture that emerges from our review is that both normative and practical considerations make UBI easier to defend as a tool of poverty alleviation in poor economies than a tool to achieve social justice in rich ones.

Keywords: Labour Supply; unconditional cash transfers; universal basic income; welfare policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D63 H24 H31 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe
Date: 2019-03
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