Unconditional Basic Income and Welfare State Reform in Representative Democracies
Berlin : Springer Verlag
Contributions to Economics
InDelsen, L. (ed.), Empirical Research on an Unconditional Basic Income in Europe, pp. 1-27
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Economische theorie en economisch beleid
Delsen, L. (ed.), Empirical Research on an Unconditional Basic Income in Europe
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
An increase in income and wealth inequality does not only have negative social and economic consequences, it is also a threat to the functioning of our democracies. The debate on the introduction of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) is beset with unanswered questions, with conjectures and unproven beliefs that call for additional research by economists and a uniform definition. The current distribution-and-income-based national welfare state could be transformed into a ‘prosperity state’, in which the economy is designed around delivering the capabilities for human flourishing. The introduction of a UBI, funded by progressive consumption and wealth taxes, should be on the research agenda of economics, and on the policy agenda in representative democracies. It has the potential to enlarge the economic pie, and to improve the distribution of income, for it reflects the contribution to society. Empirics on UBI are limited. Moreover, research is mainly focussed on short-term labour market effects, poverty and income inequality reduction, and there is some attention for health and well-being. However, the long-term effect on the environment are fully disregarded. The aim of this book is to scrutinise and comment on some of the main issues of the basic income, to contribute to the knowledge basis on the basic income, and to support better informed—evidence-based—policy making, and to bring a better world about.
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