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EUROPE: Haagh delivers keynote lecture on Basic Income at World Health Organization

BIEN Chair Louise Haagh delivered a keynote lecture on basic income at a World Health Organization (WHO) forum on October 6, which was held as part of the 2017 European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG).

Haagh, a Reader in Politics at the UK’s University of York, joined Nico Dragano (Institute of Medical Sociology, Düsseldorf University Hospital) and Mariana Dyakova (Deputy Director, Policy Research and International Development, Public Health Wales) to discuss social and economic determinants of health and well-being and their implications for public policy.

Organized by WHO, the public health agency of the United Nations, the forum explored approaches to the goal of improving health and well-being for all, as set out in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In her lecture, Haagh defends basic income as a democratic response to the inefficacy and dysfunctionality of present systems of welfare. Based on research in the UK and Denmark, she argues that the use of sanctions has negative impact on health, well-being, and work incentives. She goes on to present evidence that economic security has a positive effect on intrinsic motivation to work, and discusses the findings of Manitoba’s Mincome experiment with respect to hospitalization rates, mental health, and education. Finally, Haagh outlines present challenges in reforming the welfare state.

A full session on basic income is tentatively planned for the 2018 EHFG, Haagh reports.

For more information, including a video of all three keynote lectures, see: Transformative approaches for equity and resilience – Harnessing the 2030 Agenda for health & well-being (EHFG).


Reviewed by Russell Ingram

Photo: World Health Organization Headquarters and Flag, CC BY-ND 2.0 United States Mission Geneva

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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