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How Much will a Universal Basic Income Plan Cost?

  • David ColanderEmail author
Colander’s Economics with Attitude
  • 11 Downloads

Universal basic income plans have been much in the news. Switzerland even had a referendum on establishing such a program, and a number of researchers and businessmen are advocating a universal basic income plan both as a way to eliminate poverty in the USA and as a way of handling the job displacement that they see being caused by technological change. These plans are not without controversy. One of the most contentious debates relates to costs. Critics such as Bergman (2004), Greenstein (2017) and Tcherneva (2017) claim that any substantial plan would be excessively costly. Proponents, such as Widerquist (2017), disagree and argue that the costs of a program are far less costly than critics suggest.

The goal of this paper is to provide insight into those costs and into how design characteristics of a universal basic income plan affects cost. Specifically, I argue that if the basic income plan is simply added to our current system of personal income taxation, critics are largely...

Notes

References

  1. Bergman, Barbara. 2004. A Swedish Style Welfare State or Basic Income: Which Should have Priority? Policy and Society 32: 107–118.Google Scholar
  2. Colander, David. 1979. A Note on Efficient Income Taxation. The American Economist, Spring.Google Scholar
  3. Colander, David. 2016. A Minimum Guaranteed Jobs Proposal. Eastern Economic Journal 42: 666–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Greenstein, Robert. 2017. Universal Basic Income may Sound Attractive, but If It Occurred, would Likelier Increase Poverty than Reduce It. Policy Futures. Google Scholar
  5. Tcherneva, Pavilina. 2017. At Issue: Should the Unites States Adopt a Universal Basic Income?” Congressional Quarterly Researcher.Google Scholar
  6. Widerquist, Karl. 2017. The Cost of Basic Income: Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations. Basic Income Studies 12(2): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© EEA 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MiddleburyUSA

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