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Palgrave Macmillan

The Popularity of Basic Income

Evidence from the Polls

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Provides the most comprehensive, detailed, and up-to-date overview of the popularity of basic income
  • Includes data from new and innovative survey experiments in which citizens rate concrete basic income schemes
  • Showcases the political implications of popular support for basic income

Part of the book series: Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG)

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About this book

This book provides a state-of-the-art overview of the popularity of basic income among the general public. Using data from a wide array of public opinion polls conducted in different countries and years, the book first charts popular support for the ideal-typical version of basic income, broadly defined as a "periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement”. On top of that, the book maps popular support for the many other, differently designed varieties of basic income that are part of real-world proposals, pilots, and experiments – including, for example, a participation income, a negative income tax, and a stakeholder grant. By investigating how and why support for different types of basic income varies across countries, evolves over time, and differs between individuals with different characteristics, this book offers crucial information about the political constituencies that can be mobilized in favor of (or against) the introduction of basic income, thereby contributing to our knowledge on the political feasibility of basic income.

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Table of contents (5 chapters)


Basic income is caught in a policy paradox: the more people support the proposal, the less certain we are that what they favour is really the idea of giving each individual member of a polity an unconditional regular income. Getting a proper handle on the complex reality underlying popular support for the “simple idea” of basic income requires taking a really deep dive into the existing survey evidence as well as the systematic collection and analysis of new data using a diverse range of innovative methods. The Popularity of Basic Income does exactly that – and much more! Tijs Laenen has written an insightful and important book that not only tells the reader what to make of the recent surge in popular support for basic income, but also how it affects the prospect of basic income becoming policy reality in our near future. A must-read for anyone taking basic income seriously!

Jurgen De Wispelaere, Visiting Professor, Götz Werner Chair of Economic Policy Constitutional Theory, University of Freiburg & Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University

Basic income is increasingly described as an idea whose time has come. But ultimately in liberal democracies its political feasibility will depend, among other things, on the potential support of public opinion. For the very first time, a book examines this issue in a systematic, rigorous, and detailed way. Tijs Laenen, himself an expert in the design and conduct of opinion polls, offers us an invaluable overview of the popularity of basic income across the developed world. His book is an indispensable tool for those who have an interest in the future of basic income and, more generally, in the feasibility of social protection reforms.

Yannick Vanderborght, Professor of political science at University of Louvain, Belgium

Authors and Affiliations

  • KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

    Tijs Laenen

About the author

Tijs Laenen is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences of Tilburg University, the Netherlands, where he holds a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, and at the Centre for Sociological Research of KU Leuven, Belgium, where he is coordinator of the “Basic Income in Belgium" project.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Popularity of Basic Income

  • Book Subtitle: Evidence from the Polls

  • Authors: Tijs Laenen

  • Series Title: Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Economics and Finance, Economics and Finance (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-29351-1Published: 06 May 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-29354-2Published: 07 May 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-29352-8Published: 05 May 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2662-3803

  • Series E-ISSN: 2662-3811

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIV, 347

  • Number of Illustrations: 71 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Economic Policy, Political Economy/Economic Systems, Public Economics

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