© 2004

The Origins of Universal Grants

An Anthology of Historical Writings on Basic Capital and Basic Income

  • John Cunliffe
  • Guido Erreygers

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Basic Capital Proposals

  3. Basic Income Proposals

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 170-179

About this book


Should all young adults receive a capital grant? Should all individuals be given a lifetime regular income? Would either form of payment be just or unjust? These questions figure prominently in recent social philosophy and policy discussions on 'stakeholding' and 'basic income'. Both types of proposal have a long, but largely unknown history. This anthology contains a wide variety of historical contributions, some of which are presented in English for the first time, highlighting striking parallels between past and present debates.


economic policy economics poverty

Editors and affiliations

  • John Cunliffe
    • 1
  • Guido Erreygers
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK
  2. 2.University of AntwerpBelgium

About the editors

JOHN CUNLIFFE is Lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. His research interests are mainly in the history of modern property theories. He has published papers in a wide range of journals.

GUIDO ERREYGERS is Professor of Economics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. In recent years his research has focused on the history of debates on inheritance, basic income and basic capital, with special emphasis on the contributions of Belgian economists. He has published in a wide range of professional journals.

Bibliographic information


'I highly recommend this anthology, which is an invaluable source of original documents, some of them available in English for the first time. The selections show how forerunners to contemporary guaranteed income schemes raised and addressed crucial issues as well as arguments for and against such schemes.' - Richard K. Caputo, Basic Income Studies