Universal Basic Income: Some Theoretical Aspects
Posted: 4 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 2019
In this article, we review the desirability and feasibility of a universal basic income (UBI) scheme from the theoretical point of view. We first discuss the possible theoretical justifications of UBI, contrasting the unconditionality of UBI with the many conditions that typically accompany other welfare policies. These justifications 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. Next, we explore 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 developing countries than as a tool to achieve social justice in developed ones.
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