GAMEL, Claude, (2011), ‘Basic income and ELIE transfers: Argument for compatibility despite divergence’
GAMEL, Claude, (2011), ‘Basic income and ELIE transfers: Argument for compatibility despite divergence’ in GAMEL, Claude & LUBRANO, Michel (eds.), 2011, On Kolm’s Theory of Macrojustice. A Pluridisciplinary Forum of Exchange, foreword by Tony ATKINSON, Springer Verlag, 2011, 370 pages.
The theory of macrojustice, introduced by S.-C. Kolm, is a stimulating contribution to the debate on the macroeconomic income distribution. The solution called “Equal Labour Income Equalisation” (ELIE) is the result of a three stages construction: collective agreement on the scheme of labour income redistribution, collective agreement on the degree of equalisation to be chosen in that framework, individual freedom to exploit his-her productive capacities (the source of labour income and the sole basis for taxation). For example, by giving to society the market value of one day of their working week, the individuals pay a lump-sum tax, which varies from one individual to another only in terms of the productive capacities of the individual concerned. In return, they receive from society the average value of all incomes derived from this one working day.
This collective book is organised as a discussion around four complementary themes: philosophical aspects of macrojustice, economic analysis of macrojustice, combination of ELIE with other targeted transfers, econometric evaluations of ELIE. Gamel devotes chapter 5 (pp. 145-185) to the comparison between Van Parijs’ book – Real Freedom for All (1995) – and Kolm’s book – Macrojustice (2005) -. Despite being formally close, both propositions diverge because the financing of basic income is not really guaranteed and the treatment by ELIE transfers of “eccentric productive people” who choose not to work is not obvious. Both projects remain nevertheless compatible: from a philosophical point of view, Van Parijs tries to equalise individuals’ “external endowments”, while Kolm exploits only their “internal endowments”; from an economic point of view, TECIE transfers which would be based on “external endowments” could thus complete ELIE transfers stemming from “internal endowments”. The first examination of this “hybridisation” provides the framework of a temporary conclusion.
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