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Congress papers

BIEN 2022, Brisbane

Maria Ozanira da Silva e SilvaTHE “BOLSA FAMÍLIA” PROGRAM AND THE “AUXÍLIO BRASIL” PROGRAM: advances and setbacks in the construction of a Basic Income in Brazil
Fernando FreitasCash transfer with social currency in Brazilian Cities: poverty relief or guaranteed income?
Michael W. HowardBasic income, climate change, and the future of work
Peter T. KnightWhy We are Moving Toward a Federal Universal Basic Income in the United States
Milena KowalskaImpact of unconditional basic income on the individual socio-economic situation of women in Poland
Steven McAteeFunding Basic Income
Iain B MiddletonRealising a Basic Income
Anne MillerThe Definition of Basic Income and Uniformity
Mark O’LearyA Politically Achievable pathway to a Basic Income in Australia
Alina PlitmanCreate vs. Toil: A New Concept of Work
Enno SchmidtGötz Werner Tribute Panel
Jane ScottUBI presentation
Alejandro SewrjuginPhiEconomy’s response to the health, ecological & social crises
leveraging together exponential technologies & the minimum expected income as a balancer for global equality
Dr Jan StroekenBasic income: from redistribution ideology to work as life fulfilment and socio-cultural revolution, and what this means for the implementation strategy
Malcolm TorryA research agenda for Basic Income
Sam Whiting
Creative People, Products and Places (CP3) Research Centre, UniSA Creative, University of South Australia

BIEN 2021, Glasgow

Videos of all plenary sessions are available on youtube. Abstracts of all the concurrent sessions will be published as soon as available. 

BIEN 2019, Hyderabad

Videos of all the plenary sessions are available on youtube. Abstracts of all the concurrent sessions are available here. Full papers and slides of some presentations are available below. 

Joffre BalceFrom Austerity to Prosperity: How Dealing with a Meltdown Can Lead to a Universal Basic Outcome
Diana BashurThe Applicability of Universal Basic Income in Post-Conflict Scenarios: The Syria Case
Sanishtha Bhatia and Tanya RanaImpact of human behaviour on the perception of the government’s Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme
Peter BrakeImplementation of a Universal Basic Income
Chloe HalpennyA “State” of Possibility? Reconfiguring basic income’s feminist potential through the lens of the state
Michael W. HowardThe Atmospheric Commons and Carbon Dividends: Implications for global and national basic income policies
Aleeza HowittRoadmap to a Government-Independent Basic Income (UBI) Digital Currency
Kristiina HyryläinenFrom Negative Human Concept to Newtural Human Concept
Valerija KorošecUnconditional Basic Individual Universal Child Grant for Belgium following the Slovenian approach
Julio Linares and Gabriela CabañaTowards an ecology of care: Basic Income after the nation-state
Shobana NelascoGrowth versus Development in the light of Universal Basic Income – A focus on India Case
Michael PughCommunity Organising & Basic Income: Reflections from North America
Malcolm TorryResearch and education in the Basic Income debate
Wu GaohuiFrom Technology to Anti-technology: How does Technical Governance Transform the Local Cadre Behaviors in China’s Rural Anti-poverty?

BIEN 2018, Tampere

Papers and presentations from the 2018 BIEN Congress in Tampere, Finland are available below.

Videos of the plenary sessions are viewable on YouTube.

Jan Otto AnderssonFrom Citizen Wage to Basic Income: The Nordic Experience
Jan Otto AnderssonThe global ethical trilemma and basic income
Marc de BasquiatA Universal Basic Income for Social Inclusion
André CoelhoUniversal Basic Income Funded by the People
Odra Delgado and Gerardo VelasquezUniversal Basic Income in the Mexican labour market: Financial sustainability in the context of flexibility, high informality and low-income tax
Anna DentFrom Utopia to Implementation: How Basic Income has progressed from radical idea to legitimate policy solution (presentation)
Bettina DuerrBasic Income Experiments: A Political Feasibility Analysis
Guido Erreygers and John CunliffeWas Basic Income Invented in Belgium in 1848? Exploring the Origins and Continuing Relevance of a Simple Idea 
Fernando FreitasBasic Income in Brazil: Analysis of arguments advocated by Brazilian publications (1975-2017)
Yannick FischerBasic Income, Labour Automation and Migration – An Approach from a Republican Perspective
Susanna Groves and John MacNeilEconomic and Policy Impact Statement – Approaches and Strategies for Providing a Minimum Income in the District of Columbia (presentation)
Dirk von HeinrichshorstHorizon – United Basic Income (white paper) (presentation)
Pertti HonkanenSimulations for Basic Income Experiment in Finland
Michael HowardCosmopolitanism and an ecological basic income
Karen JoostePower, Poverty and Socio-Economic Policy in South Africa
Shari LaliberteYoung people’s perspectives on the meaning and determinants of mental health: Implications for developing & evaluating guaranteed income and inter-sectoral policies
Elina LepomäkiThe Life Account
Mark Lindley and Karan KumarUniversal Basic Income and Ecological Economics
José A. NogueraWhat is the ‘Net Cost’ of a Basic Income? Some Conceptual Problems
Michael OpielkaBasic Income and Guarantism: Why a Basic Income favors the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Social Sustainability
Andrew PercySocial prosperity for the future: A proposal for Universal Basic Services
Carmen García PérezDoes the Right to Basic Income Already Exist? An Overview of the European and Spanish Legal Framework
Bill RaleyThe Citizen’s Dividend (presentation)
Thiago RochaThe Citizen’s Basic Income as a Fundamental Right in the Brazilian Legal System
Charles SampfordPaying for Basic Income: a ‘virtuous’ problem
Scott SantensSocial Media Workshop for Basic Income Advocates
Sabine StadlerThe means tested basic income in Austria, a new right in power
Eugen TornquistBasic Income and the Welfare State
Malcolm TorryBasic Income and Basic Income schemes: definitions and details
Jens WamslerModels for introducing basic income in Denmark (presentation)
Andrew WhiteThe rise of the superstar (digital) economy and the case for a universal basic income (paper)
Karl WiderquistThe Devil’s in the Caveats: A Brief Discussion of the Difficulties of Basic Income Experiments
Gunmin YiHow can basic income activate and encourage labor-managed firms? A two-track strategy for economic democracy

BIEN 2017, Lisbon

Elena Ambuhl, Nicole Teke and Aurélie Hampel (France)Considering basic income through the lens of agriculture: an innovative food policy measure to support fairer and more sustainable food systems
Julio Andrade (South Africa)Implementing a basic income: An income stream through a reconceptualization of data
Helen BlakemanUtopia of the Zero Hour Contract
Eugenio R.Borrallo (Spain)Basic income as a tool to dignify the work of landless peasants
Peter Brake (New Zealand)Implementation of Basic Income
Geoff Crocker (UK)Overcoming the Objection of Affordability of Basic Income – A Radical View
Alexander de Roo (Netherlands)Campaign to get basic income in the Dutch government program
Pablo Fernández del CastilloBasic Income in complementary currency: Thinking outside the box
Andrea Fumagalli (Italy)The correct definition of basic income as primary income: remuneration of life in bio-cognitive capitalism
Katarzyna Gajewska (France)The Future of Work in a Basic Income and Post-Employment System: The Scenario of Peer Production
Karen Glass (Canada)Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario
Troy Henderson (Australia)Options for a Basic Income in Australia
Neil Howard (Belgium)Basic Income and the Contemporary Anti-Slavery Movement
Michael W. Howard (USA)Basic Income and Degrowth
Lynn Johnson and Peter Lanius (Australia)Can a Basic Income Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade?
Jaeseop Kim (South Korea)Basic income pilot project by Korean youth : imagine another world
Marcelo LessaUm passo à frente: Ferramenta econômica acelerando a transformação social
Lowell Manning (New Zealand)Strategies of Communication in the Implementation of Basic Income in New Zealand and its Relationship with the Existing Income Support Structure
Jean-Philippe MartinMitigating technological unemployment through shared work
Bastiaan MeindersBasic Income and the Epistemic Problem of Happiness
Sandra MillerSolving Basic Income’s Most Intractable Problem of Secure Distribution
Annie Miller (UK)A New Poverty Benchmark For Basic Income Schemes
Tadashi Okanouchi (Tokyo)Global Basic Income or Human Heritage Dividend
Maria Ozanira da Silva e Silva (Brazil) and Valéria Ferreira Santos de Almada Lima (Brazil)The Political and Economic Conjuncture in Brazil Post Lula’s and Dilma’s Governments: a step back in the direction of implantation of a Basic Income in Brazil
Bonno Pel (Belgium) and Julia Backhaus (Maastricht University)Realizing Basic Income: shifting claims to expertise in Basic Income advocacy
Lisa Perrone (Australia), Margaret H. Vickers (Australia) and Debra Jackson (UK)Introducing Financial Freedom: What It Can Teach Us about Basic Income
Ville-Veikko Pulkka (Finland)A Free Lunch with Robots – Can a Basic Income Stabilise the Digital Economy?
Marcela Ribeiro de Albuquerque (Brazil), Rogério Mendonça Martins (Brazil)PolíticaLeen_Scholiers_SMart_a_cooperative_for_freelancerss Governamentais de Inclusão Produtiva para a Redução da Pobreza no Brasil
Sonja ScherndlArticle 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Universal Basic Income
Leen ScholiersThe Future of Work and Technological Unemployment
Charles SheredaThe Modern Talent: An Earth-Backed Democratic Digital Currency System
Thaís Amanda Silvestre (Brazil), Carla Maria Freres Stipp (Brazil), e Marcela Ribeiro de Albuquerque (Brazil)Aspectos do Processo de Terceirização no Direito Trabalhista Brasileiro: Precarização de Direitos Fundamentais
Eduardo Suplicy (Brazil)Lectures to the XVII International Conference of the Basic Income Earth Network in Lisbon
Cristian Tod (Austria)Free Lunch Society
John Tomlinson (Australia)When will the BIG wheel turn? Basic Income in Australia
Malcolm Torry (UK)What’s a Definition? And how should we define ‘Basic Income’?
Anikó Vida (Hungary)With or Without Work? The dilemmas surrounding basic income from the perspective of full citizenship
Gunmin Yi (South Korea)The Effects of Basic Income on Labour Supply

This table contains the papers uploaded to the congress website prior to the congress. If other authors submit their papers then they will be added to this list.

Videos are available of many of the congress sessions. Click here to see them.

BIEN 2016, Seoul

The Proceedings of the 2016 congress are contained in a single document, in which can be found plenary session addresses and parallel session papers. Click here to download the document.

BIEN 2014, Montréal

Timothy Roscoe CarterThe One Minute Case for a Basic Income
Malcolm TorryA Basic Income is feasible: but what do we mean by ‘feasible’?
Sarah M. Mah, Yuly ChanGuaranteed Livable Income as the way forward to Abolishing Prostitution
Doctress NeutopiaUniversal Income, Women’s Liberation, and Neutopian Thoughts
Edward James MillerDemand Side Economics And Its Consequence- The National Dividend
Emanuele MurraLimiting Economical Instrumental Action: Basic Income in Habermasian Perspective
Nam Hoon KangBasic Income for Precarious Workers in Korea
Katarzyna GajewskaHow Basic Income Will Transform Active Citizenship? A Scenario of Political Participation beyond Delegation
Sheila RegehrBasic Income and Gender Equality: Reflections on the Potential for Good Policy in Canada
John TomlinsonReal freedom for the filthy rich – precariousness for the rest of us: Why we must fight for a Basic Income
Robert W. Glover, Michael W. HowardA Carrot, Not a Stick: Examining the Potential Role of Basic Income in US Immigration Policy
Maria Ozanira da Silva e SilvaThe Conditionalities Of The Bolsa Família: Its Conservative Face And Limitations To Implement The Citizenship Basic Income In Brazil
Charla VallBuilding On The Basics: Impact And Insights From The Basic Needs Fund

BIEN 2012, Munich

Herbert WilkensBasic Income and Minimum Wages – Temporary or Permanent Complements?
Luis Henrique PaivaThe Bolsa Familia Programme and Basic Income
Ulrich SchachtschneiderEcological basic income: an entry is possible
Joerg DrescherArguing for Basic Income from a Jurisprudential Perspective
Giovanni PerazzoliWhat are the arguments in favor of the Basic Income? Let’s talk about Italy
Philippe van ParijsPersonal reflections on the 14th congress of the Basic Income Earth Network
Baptiste MylondoCan basic income lead to economic degrowth ?
Wolfgang MüllerThe Potential of an Unconditional Basic Income within Social Security Systems in Europe
Gwang-Eun ChoiBasic Income and Deepening Democracy
Jan Otto AnderssonDegrowth with basic income – the radical combination
Tomohiro InoueEconomic Sustainability of Basic Income Under a Citizen-centered Monetary Regime
Bruno Andrioli GalvãoThe good intention and the hard truth of basic income in Brazil
Myron J. FrankmanUniversalizing the Universal Declaration (of Human Rights)
Erik ChristensenA basic income reform as part of the abolition of economic privileges and the creation of a sustainable society
Eduardo Matarazzo SuplicyHow and when will the Brazilian Law that institutes a Citizen’s Basic Income really be fully implemented?
Maria Ozanira da Silva e SilvaThe bolsa família and social protection in brazil: problematizing the conditionalities as limits for the implementation of the citizens’ basic income
Claudia & Dirk HaarmannPiloting Basic Income in Namibia – Critical reflections on the process and possible lessons
Ugo ColombinoDesigning a universal income support mechanism for Italy. An exploratory tour
Leonardo Fernando Cruz BassoSaving the euro: creating social regional currencies, taxes on financial transactions, and minimum income programs
Hayato KobayashiThe Future ofPublic Assistance Reform in Japan:Workfare vs. Basic Income?
Michael W. HowardBasic income, resource taxation, and inequality: Egalitarian reservations about tax shifting
Jens-Eberhard JahnA Basic Income for Rural Areas? A proposal for a strategic realignment of agricultural, social and structure policy within the EU
Malcolm TorryThe political feasibility of a Citizen’s Income in the UK
Richard ParncuttUniversal basic income and flat income tax: Tax justice, incentive, economic democracy
Ronald BlaschkeOpportunities and Risks on the Way to a Basic Income in Germany – a political assessment
Toru YamamoriThe 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Basic Income
Reima LaunonenBasic
Johanna PerkiöThe Struggle over Interpretation: Basic Income in the Finnish Public Discussion in 2006-2012
Mikko Jakonen, Jukka Peltokoski, Tero ToivanenOccupy Life! Precarity and Basic Income
Mingull JeungEcological Expansion of Basic Income: Beyond Capitalism
Sascha LiebermannFar, though close : Problems and Prospects of Basic Income in Germany
Erik ChristensenBasic income – A transcultural perspective
Kaori KatadaBasic Income and Feminism: in terms of “the gender division of labor”
Hiroya HiranoThe Potential of introducing Basic Income for the“New Public Commons”in Japan: A Road to Associational Welfare State?
Stanislas JourdanA monetary approach towards an unconditional basic income in Greece
Micheál CollinsEstimating the Cost of a Basic Income for Ireland
Marcia Ribeiro de AlbuquerqueIncome Transfers Policies In Brazil Facing To Recent Global Economic Crisis
Karl Widerquist & Michael HowardAlaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining Its Suitability as a Model
Nam Hoon KangThe Necessity And Effects Of Ecological Basic Income In Korea
Wouter van GinnekenPoverty, Human Rights And Income Security In Europe
José Luis Rey PérezBasic Income In The Discussion About Human Rights: Right Or Guarantee?
Valerija KorošecBasic Income Proposal in Slovenia
Kelly ErnstThe Basics of an Economic Rights Movement: APublic Economy
Javier Alonso MadrigalBasic Income and the Constitutional Principles of Fiscal Justice
Tadashi OkanouchiTowards Abolition of Wage-Slavery;Perspective to a Non-Violent World Revolution for the Guaranteed Global Basic Income Society, Launching from Elimination of Hunger and Poverty
Vivan StorlundBasic income and the value of work
Rosangela Lodigiani and Egidio RivaCapability Income: A policy proposal in the fight against poverty and social exclusion
Joonas LeppänenBasic Income as Participatory Parity
Anne B Ryan & John BakeReflections on Developing a National Campaign for Basic Income in Ireland
Marina P. Nobrega, Tereza Nakagawa, Francisco G. Nobrega, Eduardo M. SuplicyA Feasible Path to Basic Income in Brazil
Anne MillerA rule-of-thumb Basic Income model for the UK, with and without an earnings/income disregard.
Hamid TabatabaiFrom Price Subsidies to Basic Income: The Iran Model and its Lessons
Valerie TimmUnconditional basic Income – A call for a human right ?
Leon SegersBasic Income & perverted global labour market
Pertti Honkanen & Jouko KajanojaSteps towards Basic Income – Case of Finland
Seán Healy, Michelle Murphy, Seán Ward and Brigid ReynoldsBasic Income – Why and How in Difficult Economic Times: Financing a BI in Ireland
B. Michael Gilroy, Mark Schopf, Anastasia SemenovaBasic Income and Labor Supply: The German Case
Andrea Fumagalli, Cristina MoriniThe Precarity-Trap and Basic Income: the Labour Market in Cognitive Bio-capitalism. The Italian Case
Roisin MulliganUniversal Basic Income and Recognition Theory
Marguit Neumann Gonçalves, Marcela Ribeiro de Albuquerque, Rosalina Lima IzepãoIncubation Of Solidarity Economic Enterprises: The Experiences Of The Incubator Unitrabalho-Universidade Estadual De Maringá-Uemin Paraná State-Brazil
Borja BarraguéThe feasibility of extending the safety net in times of crisis: A view from Spain
Juergen GreinerThe Evolutionary Dimension of Basic Income and its Integration in Society
Nyc LabretšThe Future of Workplace Automation Has Already Arrived

BIEN2010, São Paulo

Borja Barragué 
Michèle Billoré 
Gianluca Busilacchi 

BIEN 2008, Dublin

Borja BarraguéPigovian Taxes, Cap-and-Trade System, or Environmental Adders? A Green Financial Model for a Basic Income
Michèle BilloréNoospheric Ethical/Ecological Constitution for Mankind
Document 1
/ Document 2
Gianluca BusilacchiThe different regimes of minimum income policies in the enlarged Europe
Richard CaputoThe Way Forward – the political dimension
Erik ChristensenA Global Ecological Argument for a Basic Income
William CleggBasic Income-Greater Freedom of Choice Through Greater Economic Security of the Person in a Globalized Economy
Jörg DrescherEconomic view of model proposals for funding a basic income on the basis of the value creation of goods and services
Julieta ElgarteBasic income and the gendered division of labour
Pat EvansChallenging Income (In)security: Women and Precarious Employment
Myron J. FrankmanJustice, Sustainability and Progressive Taxation and Redistribution: The Case for a World-Wide Basic Income
Manuel FranzmannAn Unconditional Basic Income from the Perspective of the Sociology of Religion
Andrea Fumagalli and Stefano LucarelliBasic Income and Counter-power in Cognitive Capitalism
Anca GheausBasic Income, Gender Justice and the Costs of Gender-symmetrical Lifestyles
Áine Uí GhiollagáinBasic income and caring: Why aren’t all caregivers interested in basic income?
Johannes HanelBasic Income and Social Justice
Michael W. HowardCosmopolitanism, Trade, and Global (or Regional) Transfers
Markku IkkalaBasic Income Discussion in Finland
Bill JordanBasic Income and Social Value
Celia Kerstenetzky and Gary DymskiGlobal Basic Income and Financial Globalisation
Celia Kerstenetzky and Lionello PunzoSustainable tourism: basic income for poor communities
Katja KippingMoving to Basic Income – A left-wing political perspective
Richard LawsonIntroducing Basic Income by the Back Door in a Recession
Sascha LiebermannThe German experience of bringing Basic Income into the National Debate
Rubén M. Lo VuoloLabour markets informality and welfare regimes in Latin America. Why Basic Income is better
John MacnicolThe politics of non-contributory pensions
Francisco Javier Alonso Madrigal and José Luis Rey PérezWhat Type of Taxes Demands Basic Income?
Francisco Jose Martinez MartinezDebate on Basic Income in the Spanish Parliament
Gösta MelanderHow a basic income may be achieved politically
Marc MeurisA Basic Income Allowance as a solution for the social unification of the EU
Heiner MichelIs a Global Basic Income a Remedy for Poverty?
Annie MillerDesigning and Costing Simple Basic Income Schemes
James MulvaleThe Debate on Basic Income / Guaranteed Adequate Income in Canada: Perils and Possibilities
Mary Murphy and Orla O’ConnorIs basic income the answer to the feminist demand to individualise Irish social security?
Maria OleynikBasic Income in a Changing Ireland
Ian Gareth OrtonEliminating Child Labour: The Promise of Unconditional Cash Transfers
Ian Gareth OrtonWhy we Ought to Listen to Zygmunt Bauman
Carole PatemanDemocracy, Human Rights and a Basic Income in a Global Era
Eric PatryThe Basic Income Debate in Switzerland: Experiences and Perspectives
Sergio Luiz de Moraes PintoBasic Income and Stakeholder Grants: Jointly Breaking the Long History of Endemic Poverty and Economic Inequality in Brazil
Hugh D. SegalMoving to Basic Income – A Right-Wing Political Perspective
Steven ShafarmanBasic Income and the 2008 Campaign in the United States
Al SheahenThe Rise and Fall of a Basic Income Guarantee Bill in the U.S. Congress
Al SheahenHow the U.S. Can Afford a Poverty-Level Basic Income Guarantee
Maria Ozanira da Silva e SilvaThe Bolsa Família Program and the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in Brazil
Eduardo Matarazzo SuplicyThe Transition from the Bolsa Família Program to the Citizen’s Basic Income in Brazil
John TomlinsonTimor Leste: Minimum Wages, Job Guarantees, Social Welfare Payments or Basic Income?
Alexander VarshavskyBasic income and increasing income inequality in Russia
Pablo YanesNews from the South: Perspectives on Basic Income in Mexico and Latin America
Almaz ZellekeReconsidering Independence: Foundations of a Feminist Theory of Distributive Justice
Almaz ZellekeShould Feminists Endorse a Basic Income? Institutionalizing the Universal Caregiver through an Unconditional Basic Income
Clóvis Roberto ZimmermannThe Citizenship Principle in Income Transfer Programs in Brazil

BIEN 2006, Cape Town

Karen AllanSocial Security for Children is a Human Right
Christian M. BrutschBetween Universalism and Political Survival: Trade Unions Politics and Economic Security in the Middle East
Richard K. CaputoStanding Polanyi on His Head: The Basic Income Guarantee as a Response to the Commidification of Labor
David CasassasCorporate Watch, Consumer Responsibility, and Economic Democracy:
Forms of Political Action in the Orbit of Basic Income
Maria Ozanira da SilvaThe Scholarship Family Program a national program to universalize income transfer to all poor families in Brazil?
Julieta ElgartaGood for women? Advantages and risks of basic income from a gender perspective
Aart Roukens de LangeSubmission to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development relative to the Taylor Commission Report
Isobel FryeA study of international examples of cash transfer programmes with specific reference to issues of targeting; grant administration; the financing of social security and the potential developmental stimulus of cash transfers.
Japhet GaomabBiblical Justification for Basic Income Grant: The contribution of the silenced voices through a dialogical reading of John 5:1-9
Louise HaaghEquality and Income Security in Market Economies: What’s Wrong with Insurance?
Claudia & Dirk HaarmanWhy a universal income grant needs to be universal: The quest for Economic Empowerment vs. Charity in Namibia
Katharine HallUnder what conditions? Social Security for children in South Africa
Philip HarveyThe Relative Cost of Income and Job Guarantees
Michael HowardA NAFTA Dividend:A proposal for a guaranteed minimum income for North America
Karen KallmannTowards a BIG paradigm shift: A rights based approach to poverty alleviation
Bishop Dr. Z. KameetaA Basic Income Grant in Namibia: A response by the needy
Cons KaramataEffects of free trade on Namimbian Workers – Is BIG part of the solution?
Nanna KildalUniversal old age pensions: Arguments at time of introduction in Canada, Mauritius and Norway
Margaret LegumGrowth and the Basic Income Grant
Irkus LarrinagaBasic Income for immigrants too
Michael LewisThe Cost of Caring: The Impact of Caring for the Elderly on Women’s Wages
Sascha LiebermannPolitical Communities – Constituents of Universalism
Jennifer MaysAustralia’s Disabling Income Support System
Anna McCordAre Public Works an alternative to a Basic Income Grant?
Charles MethImplications of the impossibility of defining vulnerability among children in a theoretically rigorous way
Thabisile MsezaneFaith Community support for a Basic Income Grant
Eric PatryWhy Switzerland? Basic Income and the Development Potential of Swiss Republicasim
Michael SamsonUniversalism Promotes Development: Evidence from Southern Africa’s Social Transfers
Fabian SchuppertJustice and Income for All? The Limits of Political Reality for a Truly Universal Basic Income.
Guy StandingIncome Security: Why Unions should campaign for a basic income
Guy StandingHow a Basic Income is Working in Africa
Sen. Eduardo SuplicyThe possible Transition from the Bolsa-Famlia Program towards the Citizen’s Basic Income or The Political Difficulties and Budget Obstacles to Implement the Basic Income in Brazil
John TomlinsonAustralia: Basic Income and Decency
Robert van der VeenGift-sharing as the Basis of Real Freedom for All
Hubertus von HeynitzBasic Income Model for SA confronted by an AIDS Pandemic
Monika WallmonBasic Income beyond Wage Slavery: In search of transcending political aesthetics
Karl WiderquistProperty Rights by General Agreement
Pablo YanesUniversal Citizen’s Pension in Mexico City: An Opportunity for Debate on Basic Income
ClÛvis Roberto ZimmermannThe Brazilian social programs under the human rights perspective:
The case of the Family Scholarship (Bolsa FamÌlia) Program of LULA`s government

BIEN 2004, Barcelona

Antoni DomènechBasic Income and the Present Threats to Democracy
Eri Noguchi & Michael A. LewisBasic Income: A Basic Condition of a Better Society?
Irkus LarrinagaBasic Income and the Requirement of Impartiality in Deliberative Processes
Karl WiderquistFreedom as the Power to Say No
Philip HarveyA Comparative Assessment of Basic Income Proposals and Proposals to Secure the
Right to Work and Income Support
Martin Watts & William MitchellA Comparison of the Macroeconomic Consequences of Basic Income and Job
Guarantee Schemes
Guy StandingWhy the Right to Work Requires a Basic Income
José A. NogueraCitizens or Workers? Basic Income vs. Activation Policies
Jeffrey J. SmithCan Rents Fund an Extra Income for Everyone?
Charles BazlintonThe Dangers of a Basic Income Without Land Value Taxation
Malcom GreenCosmic Accounting: A New Energy Economic System of Basic Income
Ada Ávila AssunçãoWhen Income Transfer is Not Able to Eradicate the Practice of Working in Pernicious
Environments. A Case Study of the Bolsa Escola Program
Maria Ozanira da Silva e SilvaFrom a Minimum Income to a Citizenship Income: the Brazilian Experiences
Elenise SchererProgramme on Elimination of Child Labour in Brazil: Reinforcing Poverty and Denying Human Rights
Araceli Brizzio de la HozChild Labour, a Contemporary Form of Slavery
María Julia BertomeuProperty and Basic Income
Simon Eli BirnbaumReal Freedom and the Challenge of Structural Subordination
Julieta Magdalena ElgarteNon-domination, Real Freedom and Basic Income
Hans HarmsPrecariousity versus Flexicurity
Joel F. HandlerThe False Promise of Workfare: Another Reason for Basic Income Guarantee
Felicia KornbluhIf the Goods have Ceased to Be Urgent, Where Is the Fraud? The Work Ethic in the History of the Basic Income in the U.S.A.
Jorn LoftagerThree Third Ways
Erik ChristensenWelfare Discourses in Denmark Seen in a Basic Income Perspective
Myron J. FrankmanAmple Room at the Top: Financing a Basic Income
Jean Pierre MonSocial Money for Financing Basic Income
Eduardo Calderón & Óscar ValienteBasic Income as a Policy to Fight Child Poverty
Horacio Levy & othersChild Poverty and Family Assistance in Southern Europe
Michael HowardBasic Income and Migration Policy: A Moral Dilemma?
Luis BellvisBasic Income, Information Society and the Info-Poors
Nicoli NattrassThe Challenge for Basic Income Posed by AIDS: Why an Incremental Approach Is
Inadequate in South Africa
Jose Luis Rey PérezA New Gender Perspective for Basic Income?
Manfred FuellsackBI as a ‘Medium’? An Un-ethical Approach to the BI Debate
Ilkka VirjoDoes Minimum Income Have Negative Incentive Effects on the Young?
Christian BrütschFrom Decent Work to Decent Lives?
Jaione Mondragón & Amaia IzaolaThe Making of the Programs Against Social Exclusion in the Basque Country: From Cash Benefits to Overcoming Job Insertion
Brigid Reynolds & Sean HealyIntroducing a Basic Income System Category by Category in Ireland
Rafael Pinilla & Luis SanzoIntroducing a Basic Income System in Spain – Feasibility and Cost
Lena LavinasExceptionality and Paradox: Basic Income and Minimum Income Schemes in Brazil
Cláudio da Rocha RoquetePerspectives for Basic Income in Brazil + powerpoint presentation
Jorge Iván Bula & Diego F. HernándezMoving Away from Conditioned Subsidy Towards Universal Basic Income
Clovis ZimmermanBasic Food Income in Low Income Countries
Loek Groot &
Robert J. Van der Veen
Why Launch a Basic Income Experiment
Jordi Arcarons, Samuel Calonge, Daniel Raventós & José A. NogueraThe Financial Feasibility and Redistributive Impact of a Basic Income in Catalonia
Axel Marx & Hans PeetersWin for Life. What, If Anything, Happens After the Introduction of a Basic Income?
Jurgen De Wispelaere &
Lindsay Stirton
The Administration of Universal Welfare
Jens-Eberhard JahnProblems of a Programmatic UBI Debate in the German Party of Democratic
Jose Luis Rey PérezA Juridical View on Basic Income
Richard K. CaputoEqualization of Meeting Needs vs. Equalization of Income Distribution: Reconsiderations of Basic Income & Economic Justice in Light of Van Parijs and Zucker
Toru YamamoriBasic Income and Capability Approach: On Recognition and Deconstruction for
Cristian Pérez MuñozBasic Income vs Market
Coordinators/Chairs: Àlex Boso, Sergi Raventós & Yannick VanderborghtDo Trade Unions Represent an Obstacle to the Introduction of a Basic Income? Lessons from the Belgian, Canadian and Dutch debates
Commentary by Juan González (Central de Trabajadores de Argentina)
Commentary by Iñaki Uribarri (ILP promoter – Member of ESK, Spain)
Commentary by Joan Coscubiela (General Secretary, Comisiones Obreras Catalonia, Spain)
Patrick DanaheyEducation and the Democratic Sovereignty of the People: A Human Rights Approach
Towards Universal Basic Income
Christine BoutinBasic income as a response to systemic crisis: the French Case.
Eduardo SuplicyThe approval and sanctioning of the Basic income bill in Brazil

BIEN 2002, Geneva

Aho, SimoMore selectivity in unemployment compensation in Finland: Has it led to activation or increased poverty?
Andersson, Jan-OttoPopular support for basic income in Sweden and Finland
Archer, SeanSocial and economic rights in the South African Constitution: The role of a basic income
Atkinson, AnthonyHow basic income is moving up the policy agenda: News from the future
Ballas, DimitrisA spatial micro-simulation approach to the impact assessment of basic income policies
Balsan, DidierL’incidence de l’allocation universelle sur la propension à travailler
Basso, LeonardoMeritorious Currency: A currency against famine
Basso, Leonardo (with Marcelo Silva & Fernando de Pinho)Tobin Tax, minimum income and the eradication of famine in Brazil
Bhorat, HaroonA universal income grant for South Africa: An empirical assessment
Bienefeld, ManfredAn economic model based on ‘fear and insecurity’
Blueme, MarkusAutriche: vers un minimum inter-institutionnel
Bradbury, FarelBasic income and the advanced economy
Bruto da Costa, AlfredoMinimum guaranteed income and basic income in Portugal
Busilacchi, GianlucaActivation minimum income and basic income: history of a comparison of two ideas
Cantillon, BeaWelfare State protection, labour markets and poverty: lessons from
cross-country comparisons
Carsten, UllrichProspects of popular support for basic income
Casassas, DavidRepublicanism and basic income: The articulation of the public sphere from the repoliticization of the private sphere
Chetvernina, Tatyana (with Liana Lakunina)Endless insecurity? The reality of Russia
Christensen, EricFeminist arguments in favour of welfare and basic income in Denmark
Costantin, Paulo DutraThe positive externality of basic income in a capitalist economy
Cruz-Saco, MariaA basic income policy for Peru: Can it work?
D’Addio, Anna CristinaAssessing unemployment traps in Belgium using panel data sample selection models
Dasgupta, SuktiCare Work: The quest for security
Deacon, BobTracking the global social policy discourse: From safety nets to universalism
de Pinho, Fernando (with Silva Marcelo & Leonardo Basso)Tobin Tax, minimum income and the eradication of famine in Brazil
Dommen, EdouardGeneva connections: Calvin, Rousseau and basic income
Dore, RonThe Liberal’s Dilemma: Immigration, social solidarity and basic income
Dubouchet, JulienDe la dette au droit: principes et évolutions de la sécurité sociale en Suisse
Dyer, AlanSocial credit as economic modernism: Seven theses
Euzeby, ChantalFeasibility and limitations of a minimum income for pensioners
Farvaque, Nicolas (with Robert Salais)Implementing allowances for young people in France: Enhancing capabilities or increasing selectivity
Fernandez, José IglesiasStrong versus weak models of basic income in Catalonia – Spain
Frankman, MyronA planet-wide citizen’s income. Espousal and estimates
Füllsack, ManfredWork and social differentiation. And how it gives reason to a basic income
Fumagalli, AndreaBio-economics, labour flexibility and cognitive work: Why not basic income?
Funiciello, TheresaGetting on a path to just distribution: The Caregiver Credit Campaign
Gamel, Claude (with Didier Balsan & Josiane Vero)L’Incidence de l’allocation universelle sur la propension à travailler
Ghai, DharamPursuing Basic Income Security in Africa
Goldsmith, ScottThe Alaska Permanent Fund: A basic income in action
Handler, JoelSocial citizenship and Workfare in the USA and Western Europe. From status to contract
Harvey, PhilipThe Right to Work: Taking economic rights seriously
Healy, Sean (with Brigid Reynolds)From poverty relief to universal entitlement: Social welfare and basic
income in Ireland
Hernandez, DiegoSelectivity in social policy in Colombia during the 1990s
Hoskins, DalmerResurrecting universalism in social security
Howard, MichaelLiberal and Marxist justifications for basic income
Hrdina, JeanneUniversal basic livelihood is essential for world peace
Kangas, Olli (with Jan-Otto Andersson)Popular support for basic income in Sweden and Finland
Kallmann, KarelMobilising a Coalition for Basic Income in South Africa
Kildal, Nanna (with Stein Kuhnle)The principle of universalism: Tracing a key concept in the Scandanavian welfare model
Kratke, MichaelBasic Income, Commons and Commodities: The Public Domain Revisited
Kuhnle, Stein (with Nanna Kildal)The principle of universalism: Tracing a key concept in the Scandanavian welfare model
Kunnemann RolfBasic income: A state’s obligation under the human right to food
Lakunina, Liana (with Tatyana Chetvernina)Endless insecurity? The reality of Russia
Laurent, ThierryIncitations et transitions sur le marché du travail: une analyse dynamique
des trappes à inactivité
Lavinas, LenaThe bolsa escola in Brazilian cities
Le Clainche, ChristineLes préférences pour la redistribution: Une analyse du profil des
individus favourables à l’allocation universelle
le Roux, PieterThe benefits of a basic income in South Africa
Liebeg, StefanA legitimate guaranteed minimum income
Loftager, JornDeliberative democracy and the legitimacy of basic income
Lord, CliveThe mutual interdependence of a citizen’s income and ecological sustainability
Lo Vuolo, RubenThe basic income debate in the context of a systemic crisis: The case of Argentina
Manning, LowellBasic income and economic transformation in New Zealand
Marx, IveMass joblessness, the Bismarckian model and the limits to gradual adaptation in Belgium
Matisonn, Heidi (with Jeremy Seekings)Welfare in Wonderland? The politics of the basic income grant in South Africa
Matsaganis, ManosThe rise and fall of selectivity a la Grecque
Mau, SteffenA legitimate guaranteed minimum income
Meireis, TorstenCalling: A Christian argument for a basic income
Mon, Jean-PierrePour une conditionnalité transitoire
Moreira, AmilcarIndividual moral dignity and the guarantee of a minimum income
Morley-Fletcher, EdwinAlternative models of credit cards
Noguera, Jose(with Daniel Raventos)Basic income, social polarisation and the Right to Work
November, AndrasLe revenu minimum social à Genève: douze ans de débats politiques
Oberson, BertrandLes mesures d’insertion sociale dans le canton de Fribourg
Offe, ClausCitizenship Rights: Why Basic Income Security is Fundamental
Opielka, MichaelA Care-worker Allowance for Germany
Ostner, IlonaTargeted universalism?
Ozanira da Silva e Silva, MariaMinimal income programmes directed at infantile work eradication and to school inclusion in Brazil
Pinilla, RafaelA diversified basic income for federal states and multinational communities
Pioch, RoswithaMigration, citizenship and welfare reform in Europe: Overcoming Labour Market Segregation
Plant, RaymondCan there be a Right to Basic Income?
Ramji, VidyaIncome security and hidden care issues: Female care workers emigrating from Kerala (India) to the Middle East
Raventos, DanielRepublicanism and basic income: The articulation of the public sphere from the repoliticization of the private sphere
Raventos, DanielBasic income, social polarisation and the Right to Work
Reynolds, Brigid (with Sean Healy )From poverty relief to universal entitlement: Social welfare and basic
income in Ireland
Saith, AshwaniReflections on income security in development policy
Salais, Robert (with Nicolas Farvaque)Implementing allowances for young people in France: Enhancing capabilities or increasing selectivity
Salvatore, IngridA Philosophical Justification for Basic Income as Social Justice
Samson, Michael (with Ingrid van Niekerk)The macro-economic implications of poverty-reducing transfers
Santibanez, ClaudioEquality, human rights and social minima: An unconditional universal basic income proposal for Chile
Sanzo-Gonzalez, LuisAllocation universelle et garantie de ressources au Pays Basque
Schade, GünterThe Great Delusion about a remedy for unemployment
Schmitter, PhilippeA modest proposal for extending social citizenship in the EU
Schwarzenbach, SibylThe limits of production: Justifying guaranteed basic income
Shafarman, StevenMobilising for basic income
Seekings, Jeremy (with Heidi Matisonn)Welfare in Wonderland? The politics of the basic income grant in South Africa
Sheahan, AllenDoes everyone have a Right to a Basic Income?
Silva, Marcelo (with Leonardo Basso & Fernando de Pinho)Tobin Tax, minimum income and the eradication of famine in Brazil
Silver, HilarySocial insecurity and basic income
Sobhan, RehmanIncome security through asset distribution
Stadler, SabineAssessing selectivity, including Workfare, in Austria
Standing, GuyThe South African Solidarity Grant
Standing, GuyAbout Time: Basic security through income and capital
Stock, RosamundThe psychological rationale for basic income
Strengmann-Kuhn, WolfgangWorking Poor in Europe: A partial basic income for workers?
Suplicy, EduardoLegitimising basic income in developing countries: Brazil
Thorel, Jean-PierreUne allocation universelle pour la Suisse
Tons, KatrinIncremental disentitlement in German welfare policy
Van den Bosch, Karel (with Bea Cantillon)Welfare State protection, labour markets and poverty: lessons from
cross-country comparisons
Vanderborght, YannickBasic income in Belgium and the Netherlands: Implementation through the back door?
Van Niekerk, Ingrid (with Michael Samson)The macro-economic implications of poverty-reducing transfers
Van Parijs, PhilippeDoes basic income make sense as a worldwide project?
Van Trier, WalterThe conversion of Andre Gorz
Vero, Josiane (with Didier Balsan & Claude Gamel)L’Incidence de l’allocation universelle sur la propension à travailler
Vielle, Pascale (with Pierre Walthery)Emploi flexible et protection sociale : Pistes et esquisses de réconciliation
Virjo, Ilkka (with Simo Aho)More selectivity in unemployment compensation in Finland: Has it led to activation or increased poverty?
Walthery, Pierre (with Pascale Vielle)Emploi flexible et protection sociale : Pistes et esquisses de réconciliation
Watts, MartinA system of basic income versus the job guarantee
Widerquist, KarlA failure to communicate: The labor market findings of the NIT experiments and their effects on policy and public opinion
Wigley, SimonBasic income and the means to self-govern
Wohlgenannt, Lieselotte
(with Markus Blueme)
Autriche: vers un minimum inter-institutionnel
Zelenev, SergeiSocial protection imperatives in post-Socialist Russia
Zelleke, AlmazRadical pluralism: A liberal defence of unconditionality
Zoyem, Jean-PaulInégalités hommes-femmes et la place des enfants dans la protection sociale

BIEN 2000, Berlin

Archibugi, FrancoThe non-market activities and the future of Capitalism
Basso, LeonardoThe minimum income models of James Meade applied to Brazil
Bauer, MichaelExtending social citizenship at the European level: Proposal for a Euro-Stipend
Berteloot, BernardA basic income or a basic capital?
Blais, Francois (with Jean-Yves Duclos)Basic income in a federation: The case of Canada
Bresson, YolandBasic income as foundation of the new economy and harmonisation of social European politics
Burbidge, Duncan
(with Stuart Duffin)
Stumbling towards basic income: The prospects for tax-benefit integration
Christensen, ErikThe Rhetoric of Rights and responsibilities in workfare and citizen’s income
Costantin, Paulo Dutra
(with Leonardo Basso)
The minimum income models of James Meade applied to Brazil
Cunliffe, John (with Guido Erreygers)Basic income? Basic capital! Origins and issues of a debate
Dahms, HarryMoishe Postone’s critique of traditional Marxism as an argument for the guaranteed minimum income
De Deken, JohanFunded pensions, responsibility of ownership, and economic citizenship
De Wispelaere, JurgenBargaining for basic income? Justice and politics in welfare policy
De Wispelaere, Jurgen
(with Daniel Rubenson)
Participation through basic income: A social capital approach
Duclos, Jean-YvesBasic income in a federation: The case of Canada
Duffin, StuartRecognizing citizenship
Duffin, Stuart
(with Duncan Burbidge)
Stumbling towards basic income: The prospects for tax-benefit integration
Erreygers, GuidoBasic income? Basic capital! Origins and issues of a debate
Fischer, AndreaOpening Address
Franzmann, Manuel
(with Sascha Liebermann)
Saving citizenship from the Workhouse: Upholding the obligation to work undermines the citizen’s autonomy
Fumagalli, AndreaEleven propositions on basic income (basic income in a flexible accumulation system)
Giullari, SusannaEnabling the creative tension: Lone mothers, kin support and basic income
Godino, RogerBasic income, market economy, and democracy
Groot, Loek
(with Robert van der Veen )
Basic income versus working subsidies: An assessment of the Vandenbroucke model
Healy, Sean
(with Brigid Reynolds)
Progressing basic income on a range of fronts
Hoglund, MatsReflections about the basic income debate from a Swedish perspective
Huber, JosephFunding basic income by Seignorage
Jacquet, LaurenceDoes optimal income tax theory justify a basic income?
Janson, PerBasic income and the Swedish welfare state
Just, Wolf-DieterTowards a new understanding of work, income and life
Kildal, NannaWorkfare policies and the Scandinavian welfare model
Klammer, UteWorking women in the age of flexibility: New diversities, new needs for social protection
Kraetke, MichaelTaxation and civil rights. The Right to subsistance in the European Tradition
Krebs, AngelikaWhy mothers should be fed: Ein kritik an Van Parijs
Kutylowski, JanRelative income deprivation and its determinants and consequences in Poland
Leischen, Petra (with Wolfram Otto)Existential subsistence for everyone: The concept of BAG-SHI
Lerner, SallyThe positives of ‘flexibility’: Spreading work, promoting choice
Little, AdrianCivil societies and economic citizenship: The contribution of basic income theory to new interpretations of the public sphere
Martínez, Francisco JoséSalary work and free activity
Liebermann, Sascha
(with Manuel Franzmann)
Saving citizenship from the Workhouse: Upholding the obligation to work undermines the citizen’s autonomy
Mathers, Andrew
(with Graham Taylor)
Popular networks and public support for a basic income in Europe
Merle, Jean-ChristopheWould a universal basic income really leximin real freedom?
Moreno, LuisEuropeanization and decentralization of ‘safety net’ schemes
Moulier Boutang, YannThe link between global productivity and individual cumulative basic income: Some suggestions
Noguera, José AntonioBasic income and the Spanish welfare state
Opielka, MichaelParental income and basic income. Why family matters for citizenship
Otto, Wolfram
(with Petra Leischen)
Existential subsistence for everyone: The concept of BAG-SHI
Ozanira da Silva e Silva , MariaThe minimum income: A monetary transfer to poor families with children in school age in brazil
Pinilla, RafaelThe persistence of poverty in free market economic systems and the basic income proposal: An economic analysis
Pioch, RoswithaEU integration and basic income: Rethinking social justice in competitive welfare states
Reynolds, Brigid
(with Sean Healy)
Progressing basic income on a range of fronts
Robeyns, Ingrid CThe political economy of non-market work
Rubenson, Daniel
(with Jurgen De Wispelaere)
Participation through basic income: A social capital approach
Schmitter, Philippe
(with Michael Bauer)
Extending social citizenship at the European level: Proposal for a Euro-Stipend
Seel, BarbaraLegitimizing unpaid household work by monetarization – achievements and problems
Suplicy, EduardoIn the direction of a citizen’s income: The advancement of the battle in Brazil
Suplicy, EduardoUm dialogo com Milton Friedman sobre o imposto de renda negativo
Taylor, Graham
(with Andrew Mathers)
Popular networks and public support for a basic income in Europe
Tenschert, Ursula (with Matthias Till)Poverty and minimum income in EU-14: First results of the ECHP
Till, Matthias (with Ursula Tenschert)Poverty and minimum income in EU-14: First results of the ECHP
Töns, KatrinPaternalism and the right to take risks
Vanderborght, YannickThe ‘VIVANT’ experiment in Belgium: An issue-based political party focused on full basic income
Van der Veen, Robert (with Loek Groot)Basic income versus working subsidies: An assessment of the Vandenbroucke model
Van Donselaar, GijsTom Sawyers fence: On the border between leisure and income
Van Parijs, PhilippeBasic income: A simple and powerful idea for the 21st century
Walter, TonyHow to thrive while on sabbatical: A review of evidence
Widerquist, KarlCitizenship or obligation
Wigley, SimonThe right to equal choice and the problem of cumulative (mis)fortune

BIEN 1998, Amsterdam

Andersson, Jan-Otto (SUO)The History of an Idea: Why did Basic Income Thrill the Finns, but not the Swedes? (published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Balfour, Christopher (UK)Selling Basic Income to UK Conservatives
Borovali, Murat (UK)Self-Ownership, Private Property, and Unconditional Income: A Variation on the Georgist Theme
Chapman, David (UK)Reforming the tax and benefit system to reduce unemployment
Chiappero, E. (IT), with M. Serati & F. SilvaBasic income: an insidious trap or a fruitful chance for the Italian labour market?
Christensen, Erik (DK)An analysis of the Danish political debate on Citizen’s Income in the period 1977-97
Clark, Charles (US), with Catherine KavanaghAnswering the Economic Questions and Objections to a Basic Income
Cunliffe, John (UK), with Guido ErreyghersBasic Endowments and Basic Income: Some Belgian Precursors
De Beer, Paul (NL)In search of the double-edged sword
(published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
De Beer, Paul (NL), with Loek GrootWhy launch a basic income experiment?
De Wispelaere, Jurgen (B)Job Rights, Reciprocity, and the Constitutional Approach to Basic Income
Duboin, Marie-Louise (F)The Civic Contract: a first step to a distributive economy
Erreygers, Guido (B), with John CunliffeBasic Endowments and Basic Income: Some Belgian Precursors
Ferge, Zsuzsa (H)Basic Income for the Poorer Part of Europe?
Fitzpatrick, Tony (UK)Into an Era of Post-Social Security: Globalisation and State Pluralism
Gamel, Claude (FR)The use of employment rents for the financing of basic income
Gortemaker, Philip (NL)Basic income, a matter of the heart
Healy, Sean (IRE), with Brigid ReynoldsFrom Concept to Green Paper: Putting Basic Income on the Political Agenda (published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Hemerijck, Anton (NL)Prospects for Effective Social Citizenship in an Age of Structural Inactivity
(published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Howard, Michael (US)Basic Income and Cooperatives
Hughes, Gordon (UK), with Adrian LittleNew Labour, Communitarianism and the Public Sphere in the UK
Jerusalem, Erwin (AU)Basic Income: How it was introduced to the political agenda in Austria
Kavanagh, Catherine (IRE), with Charles ClarkAnswering the Economic Questions and Objections to a Basic Income
Lehmann, Mary (US)Opposing Globalization Could Justify Resource-Based Basic Income
Lerner, Sally (CA)Fear of freedom: a barrier to putting BI on the political agenda
Little, Adrian (UK), with Hughes GordonNew Labour, Communitarianism and the Public Sphere in the UK
Loftager, Jørn (DK)Solidarity and Universality in the Danish Welfare State
Lunde, Thomas (CA)The Family Basic Income Proposal
Manning, Lowell (NZ)The Economic Effects of Introducing a Full Universal Basic Income into the New Zealand Economy
Metz, Paul (NL)The daughter of Karl Marx en Adam Smith
Mitschke, Joachim (D)Pleading for a Negative Income Tax
(published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Morier-Genoud, Jean (SWI)Toward a renovation of economic circulation and institutionsMorley-Fletcher, Edwin (IT)
Opening AddressOzanira da Silva e Silva, Maria (BRA)
The Minimum Income as a Policy for Increasing Child Education in BrazilPelzer, Helmut (GE)
Funding of an Unconditional Basic Income in Germany via a Modified
Tax/Transfer SystemPioch, Roswitha (GE)
The bottom line of the welfare state in Germany and the NetherlandsQuilley, Steven (UK)
Sustainable Funding of Basic Income: Environment, Citizenship & Community, and a Trajectory for Basic Income Politics in Europe
(published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Reynolds, Brigid (IRE), with Sean HealyFrom Concept to Green Paper: Putting Basic Income on the Political Agenda (published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Robeyns, Ingrid (B)An emancipation fee or hush money? The advantages and disadvantages of a basic income for women’s emancipation and well-being
(published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Roos, Nikolas (NL)Basic Income and the justice of taxationSalinas, Claudio Caesar (ARG), with Philippe Van Parijs
Basic income and its cognates. Puzzling equivalence and unheeded differences between alternative ways of addressing the new social question (published in Basic Income on the Agenda) Scharpf, Fritz (D)
Basic Income and Social Europe
(published in Basic Income on the Agenda)
Schutz, Robert (US)More Basic IncomeSerati, M. (IT), with E. Chiappero & F. Silva
Basic income: an insidious trap or a fruitful chance for the Italian labour market?Silva, F. (IT) ), with E. Chiappero & M. Serati
Basic income: an insidious trap or a fruitful chance for the Italian labour market?Smith, Jeffery (US)
From Potlatch to EarthshareStanding, Guy (SWI)
Seeking Equality of Security in the Era of GlobalisationTerraz, Isabelle
Redistributive Impact of a Basic Income: A Focus on Women’s SituationVan Parijs, Philippe (B), with Claudio Caesar Salinas
Basic income and its cognates. Puzzling equivalence and unheeded differences between alternative ways of addressing the new social question (published in Basic Income on the Agenda) Widerquist, Karl (US)
Reciprocity and the guaranteed income

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons license CC BY NC SA.

A short history of the Basic Income idea

[The video that summarises the following in 8 minutes is here. ]

No, the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income is not to be found in Thomas More’s Utopia. Nor was it first formulated by Thomas Paine. As far as we know, it was first proposed at the local level by Thomas Spence at the end of the 18th century and at the national level by Joseph Charlier in the middle of the 19th. It was the subject of short-lived national debates in England around 1920 and in the United States around 1970. It resurfaced in Western Europe around 1980 and slowly spread until it gained worldwide popularity from 2016 onwards.

1. Minimum income: More (1516) and Vives (1526)

More: Raphael’s cure for theft

The idea of a minimum income guaranteed by the government to all the members of a particular community is far older than the more specific and more radical idea of an Unconditional Basic Income. With the advent of the Renaissance, the task of looking after the welfare of poor people ceased to be regarded as the exclusive preserve of the Church and of charitable individuals. Some of the so-called humanists started playing with the idea of a minimum income in the form of public assistance. In part II of Thomas More’s (1478-1535) Utopia, published in Louvain in 1516, the Portuguese traveller Raphael Nonsenso, having allegedly met More on the central square of the City of Antwerp, famously described the institutions he observed when visiting the island of Utopia. The inhabitants of Utopia all have access to adequate means of subsistence provided in kind, coupled with compulsory labour. This hardly qualifies as an Unconditional Basic Income. Moreover, More insists that his finding these institutions fascinating enough to write down their description does not entail that he endorses them. The closest one can find to a serious proposal in that direction is to be found instead in part I of Utopia. Raphael Nonsenso narrates there a conversation he says he had with John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The provision of means of livelihood to the poor, he argued, would be a more astute way of fighting theft than sentencing thieves to death, which had the unpleasant side effect of increasing the murder rate:

I once happened to be dining with the Cardinal when a certain English lawyer was there. I forgot how the subject came up, but he was speaking with great enthusiasm about the stern measures that were then being taken against thieves. ‘We’re hanging them all over the place’, he said. ‘I’ve seen as many as twenty on a single gallows. And that’s what I find so odd. Considering how few of them get away with it, how come we are still plagued with so many robbers?’ ‘What’s odd about it?’, I asked – for I never hesitated to speak freely in front of the Cardinal. ‘This method of dealing with thieves is both unjust and undesirable. As a punishment, it’s too severe, and as a deterrent, it’s quite ineffective. Petty larceny isn’t bad enough to deserve the death penalty. And no penalty on earth will stop people from stealing, if it’s their only way of getting food. In this respect, you English, like most other nations, remind me of these incompetent schoolmasters, who prefer caning their pupils to teaching them. Instead of inflicting these horrible punishments, it would be far more to the point to provide everyone with some means of livelihood, so that nobody’s under the frightful necessity of becoming, first a thief, and then a corpse.” Contrary to the fanciful description of Utopia’s institutions, this passage can be understood as reflecting More’s own views. But nothing in it indicates that the means of livelihood (proventus vitae) are meant to be provided through publicly-funded benefits, let alone to everyone. And a later passage rather suggests that a rise in economic activity will do the trick.

Vives: A pragmatic theological plea for public assistance

It is, however, a close friend of Thomas More who can be regarded as the true father of the idea of a publicly administered minimum income scheme, the ancestor of today’s many national public assistance schemes and thereby arguably a crucial stepping stone on the way towards an Unconditional Basic Income. Fellow humanist Johannes Ludovicus Vives (1492-1540) was the first to work out a detailed scheme and develop a comprehensive argument for it, based both on theological and pragmatic considerations. He was born in Valencia in a family of converted Jews. He left Spain in 1509 to escape the Inquisition, studied in Paris at the Sorbonne but soon got fed up by the conservative scholastic philosophy that was prevailing in Paris at the time and moved on to Bruges in 1512, and in 1517 to Louvain, one of the main centres of the humanist movement, where he was recruited by Erasmus for his newly founded Collegium Trilingue. He taught more briefly at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, but spent most of his adult life in the city of Bruges, where his statue can be seen on the bank of one of the main canals. In a booklet dedicated to the Mayor of Bruges in 1526 under the title De Subventione Pauperum (On the Assistance to the Poor), he proposed that the municipal government should be given the responsibility of securing a subsistence minimum to all its residents, not on grounds of justice but for the sake of a more effective exercise of morally required charity. The assistance scheme would be closely targeted to the poor. Indeed it is because of their ability to target them more efficiently that public officials should be put in charge of poor relief. To be entitled to public charity, a poor person’s poverty must not be undeserved, but he must deserve the help he gets by proving his willingness to work:


Even those who have dissipated their fortunes in dissolute living – through gaming, harlots, excessive luxury, gluttony and gambling – should be given food, for no one should die of hunger. However, smaller rations and more irksome tasks should be assigned to them so that they may be an example to others. […] They must not die of hunger, but they must feel its pangs.” Whatever the source of poverty, the poor are expected to work. “Even to the old and the stupid, it should be possible to give a job they can learn in a few days, such as digging holes, getting water or carrying something on their shoulders.” The point of requiring such toil from the beneficiaries of the scheme is in part to make them contribute to the funding of the latter. But it is also to make sure that “being busy and engrossed in their work, they will abstain from those wicked thoughts and actions in which they would engage if they were idle.” Indeed, this concern should consistently extend to those born rich: Emperor Justinian was right, according to Vives, “in imposing a law that forbade everyone to spend his life in idleness”. If the poor cannot be parasites, why could the rich?

At two junctures, Vives anticipates some insights that will drive later thinkers in the direction of a Basic Income. “All these things God created, He put them in our large home, the world, without surrounding them with walls and gates, so that they would be common to all His children.” Hence, unless he helps those in need, whoever has appropriated some of the gifts of nature “is only a thief condemned by natural law, because he occupies and keeps what nature has not created exclusively for himself”. Further, Vives insists that relief should come “before need induces some mad or wicked action, before the face of the needy blushes from shame… The benefaction that precedes the hard and thankless necessity of asking is more pleasant and more worthy of thanks”. But he explicitly discards the more radical conclusion that it would be even better if “the gift were made before the need arose”, which is exactly what an adequate Basic Income would achieve.

From Vives to the English Poor Laws and modern social assistance

Vives’s plea most probably inspired a scheme put into place a few years later by the Flemish municipality of Ypres. It also contributed to inspiring incipient thinking and action about forms of poor relief, from the School of Salamanca of Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto (from 1536 onwards) to England’s Poor Laws (from 1576 onwards). Less well remembered than his friends and protectors Erasmus and More, Vives’s pioneering thinking on the welfare state has been recently rediscovered.

He is also still remembered in his Alma Mater, the University of Louvain: A stone from his house has been incorporated in the wall of the “Universitaire Halle”, which houses the rectorate in the old town of Leuven. And the meeting room of the Hoover Chair in the new town of Louvain-la-Neuve, where the Collectif Charles Fourier met in 1984-86 to discuss Basic Income and organise the founding meeting of the Basic Income European Network, has been named “Salle Vives”.

Vives’s tract is the first systematic expression of a long tradition of social thinking and institutional reform focused on the public exercise of compassion through government-organised means-tested schemes directed at the poor. Despite the difficulties and doubts aroused by the operation of the Poor Laws, the thinkers of the nouveau régime made public assistance an essential function of the government. Thus, Montesquieu in L’Esprit des Lois (1748): “The State owes all its citizens a secure subsistence, food, suitable clothes and a way of life that does not damage their health”. This line of thought eventually led to the setting up of comprehensive, nationally-funded guaranteed minimum income schemes in a growing number of countries, most recently, Italy’s reddito di cittadinanza (2019) and Spain’s ingreso minimo vital (2020).

2. Basic endowment: Condorcet (1794) and Paine (1796)

Condorcet on social insurance

However, towards the end of the 18th century, a different idea emerged that was to play an even greater role in the alleviation of poverty throughout Europe. The first known person to have sketched the idea is the mathematician, philosopher and political activist, Antoine Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794). After having played a prominent role in the French revolution, both as a journalist and as a member of the Convention, Condorcet was sentenced to death. While in hiding, he wrote his most systematic work, the Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain (published posthumously by his widow in 1795), whose last chapter contains a brief sketch of what a social insurance might look like and how it could reduce inequality, insecurity and poverty.

There is therefore a necessary cause of inequality, of dependency and even of misery, which constantly threatens the most numerous and most active class of our societies. We shall show that we can to a large extent removing it, by opposing luck to itself, by securing to those who reach old age a relief that is the product of what he saved, but increased by the savings of those individuals who made the same sacrifice but died before the time came for them to need to collect its fruit; by using a similar compensation to provide women and children, at the moment they lose their husbands or fathers, with resources at the same level and acquired at the same price, whether the family concerned was afflicted by a premature death or could keep its head for longer; and finally by giving to those children who become old enough to work by themselves and found a new family the advantage of a capital required by the development of their activity and increased as the result of some dying too early to be able to enjoy it. It is to the application of calculus to the probabilities of life and to the investment of money that one owes the idea of this method. The latter has already been successfully used, but never on the scale and with the variety of forms that would make it really useful, not merely to a handful of individuals, but to the entire mass of society. It would free the latter from the periodic bankruptcy of a large number of families, that inexhaustible source of corruption and misery.”

This distinct idea will end up shaping, one century later, the development of Europe’s massive social insurance systems, starting with Otto von Bismarck’s old age pension and health insurance schemes for the industrial labour force of unified Germany (from 1883 onwards). Though not targeted to the poor and involving massive transfers to the non-poor, these systems soon started having a huge impact on poverty as their development quickly dwarfed public assistance schemes and relegated them to a subsidiary role. In one way, social insurance brought us closer to Basic Income than public assistance, as the social benefits it distributed were not prompted by compassion, but by an entitlement, based in this case on the premiums paid into the insurance system. In another way, however, it took us away from Basic Income, precisely because entitlement to the benefits is now based on having paid (or having had one’s employer paying) enough contributions in the past, typically in the form of some percentage of one’s wage. For this reason, unlike the most comprehensive versions of public assistance, even the most comprehensive forms of social insurance cannot provide a guaranteed minimum income.

Condorcet and Paine on basic endowment

However, it is the very same Marquis de Condorcet who was the first to briefly mention, in the context of his discussion of social insurance, the idea of a benefit restricted neither to the poor (deserving of our compassion) nor to the insured (entitled to compensation if the risk materialises), namely the idea of “giving to those children who become old enough to work by themselves and found a new family the advantage of a capital required by the development of their activity.” Condorcet himself is not known to have said or written anything else on the subject, but his close friend and fellow member of the Convention Thomas Paine (1737-1809) developed the idea in far greater detail, two years after Condorcet’s death, in a memoir addressed to the Directoire, the five-member executive that ruled France during most of the period separating the beheading of Robespierre and the rise of Napoleon.

It is a position not to be controverted, he writes, that the earth, in its natural, uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race.” As the land gets cultivated, “it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is in individual property. Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community a ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund proposed in this plan is to issue.” Out of this fund, “there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property. And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age”. Payments, Paine insists, should be made “to every person, rich or poor”, “because it is in lieu of the natural inheritance, which, as a right, belongs to every man, over and above the property he may have created, or inherited from those who did

This idea of an equal basic endowment given to all as they reach adulthood, reappeared now and then, for example in the writings of the French political philosopher François Huet. In Le Règne social du christianisme (1853), he proposed that young people should all be given an endowment financed out of the taxation of the whole of that part of land and other property which the bequeather has himself received. This idea of a universal endowment, was revived by Yale Law School Professors, Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott (The Stakeholder Society, 1999), also combined, as it was by  Paine, with a universal basic retirement pension, yet no longer justified by common ownership of the earth, but by some more comprehensive conception of justice as equality of opportunities. More recently, the idea was picked up again, among others, by economists Anthony Atkinson (Inequality, 2015) and Thomas Piketty (Capital et idéologie, 2020).

3. Unconditional Basic income: Spence (1796), Fourier (1829) and Charlier (1848) 

Thomas Spence’s municipal Basic Income

Whereas Thomas Paine cannot be said to have advocated a genuine lifelong Basic Income, his contemporary and compatriot Thomas Spence (1750-1814) definitely can. In a booklet published in 1796 under the title The Meridian Sun of Liberty, he argues, like Paine, that everyone is equally entitled to the land. Therefore, “the land with all that appertains to it, is in every parish made the property of the corporation or parish”. The rent on this land should be used to cover various public expenditures. And what is left — about a third, Spence reckons — should be divided equally “among the whole number of souls, male and female, married and single in a parish, from the infant of a day old to the second infantage of hoary hairs”. This booklet is presented as the text of a lecture first given in 1775, but none of the earlier versions that have been found contains an unambiguous defence of an unconditional income. However, an equally explicit defence can be found in The Rights of Infants, which Spence published in 1997, with an appendix containing a fierce criticism of Paine’s stingier proposal. The quarterly equal payment is there estimated to amount to two thirds of the revenues from the rent on all land, and its universality is again forcefully stressed: it should accrue to “all the living souls in the parish, whether male or female; married or single; legitimate or illegitimate; from a day old to the extremest age; making no distinction between the families of rich farmers and merchants and the families of poor labourers and mechanics”.

Charles Fourier’s “forwarded minimum”

Like Paine and Spence, the eccentric and prolific French writer Charles Fourier (1772-1837), one of the radical visionaries whom Marx and Engels labelled “utopian socialists”, argued that an equal entitlement to the earth and its resources justifies some form of income guarantee. As he puts it in La Fausse Industrie (1836), “if the civilized order deprives man of the four branches of natural subsistence, hunting, fishing, picking and grazing, which make up the first right, the class which took the land owes to the frustrated class a minimum of abundant subsistence”. From what he writes in Le Nouveau Monde Industriel et Sociétaire (1829) or in La Fausse Industrie, it is clear that this minimum should be secured in kind. As a lover of details, he mentions, for example, that this would include three modest meals a day. And one set of clothes for each of the three (sic) seasons. But it is also clear that it should be obligation-free, thereby leading to a dramatic improvement in the quality of work: “As the masses, once an abundant minimum is guaranteed to them, would want to work only a little or not at all, one would need to discover and organize a regime of attractive industry which would guarantee that people would keep working despite their well-being.”

What is far less obvious is whether, in Fourier’s view, this minimum should be distributed to all. Most relevant passages suggest that what he has in mind is a compensatory provision targeted at the poor. However, there is one passage in the preface to Le Nouveau Monde industriel et sociétaire (1829) where he speaks of the “copious minimum” being “forwarded” (“avancé”) to all. This advance payment can be safely expected to be refunded (“remboursement”) by very attractive and lucrative work thanks to “a method of fair distribution that allocates to each individual, man, woman or child, three dividends associated with their three industrial faculties: Capital, Labour and Talent”.

This is the passage which is at the source of the first appearance of the concept of Universal Basic Income in respected academic literature, namely in the discussion of Fourierism that John Stuart Mill added to the second edition (1849) of his Principles of Political Economy. This discussion unambiguously ascribes to Fourierism the proposal of a non-means-tested Basic Income:

The most skilfully combined, and with the greatest foresight of objections, of all the forms of Socialism, is that commonly known as Fourierism. This System does not contemplate the abolition of private property, nor even of inheritance; on the contrary, it avowedly takes into consideration, as elements in the distribution of the produce, capital as well as labour. […] In the distribution, a certain minimum is first assigned for the subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable or not of labour. The remainder of the produce is shared in certain proportions, to be determined beforehand, among the three elements, Labour, Capital, and Talent.” In his posthumous essay On Socialism (1879), Mill is just as clear “a certain minimum having first been set apart for the subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable or not of labor, the society divides the remainder of the produce among the different groups, in such shares as it finds attract to each the amount of labor required”. This interpretation is endorsed by  G.D.H. Cole in a passage of his History of Socialist Thought (1953) that includes what may well be the very first use of the expression “Basic Income” in today’s sense. Mill, he writes, “praised the Fourieristes, or rather that form of Fourierism which assigned in the first place a Basic Income to all and then distributed the balance of the product in shares to capital, talent or responsibility, and work actually done.”

Joseph Charlier’s territorial dividend

Thus, the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income at the parish level was certainly present from 1796 onwards in the mind of Thomas Spence. It was also arguably present in 1829 in the mind of Charles Fourier. But it is in 1848 that an Unconditional Basic Income was first unambiguously proposed at the level of a whole country. While Karl Marx was finishing off the Communist Manifesto in another neighbourhood of Brussels, Joseph Charlier (1816-1896) published in Brussels a short book entitled Solution du problème social ou constitution humanitaire (1848). Probably inspired by Fourier and his school, he saw the equal right to the ownership of land as the foundation of an unconditional right to some income. But he rejected both the right to means-tested assistance advocated in most relevant passages by Charles Fourier himself and the right to paid work advocated by his most prominent disciple Victor Considerant. The former, he reckoned, only dealt with the effects, and the latter involved too much meddling by the state. Under the labels “minimum” or “revenu garanti” and later “dividende territorial”, he proposed giving every citizen an unconditional right to a quarterly (later, monthly) payment of an amount fixed annually by a representative national council, on the basis of the rental value of all real estate.

The level of this dividend will be such that “the state will secure bread to all but truffles to no one”. However, it will be sufficient to increase the workers’ bargaining power: “Undoubtedly, by raising and improving the material condition of the masses, the implementation of a guaranteed minimum income will make them choosier in the choice of their occupations; but as this choice is usually determined by the price of manpower, the industries concerned will need to offer their workers a salary high enough to compensate for the inconveniences involved.” Therefore, the proposed scheme “will have as an immediate consequence a reparatory remuneration for this class of pariahs presently condemned to misery by way of reward for their irksome and useful labour.” In a letter he sent to the rector of the University of Brussels along with a copy of his last book (La Question sociale résolue, précédée du testament philosophique d’un penseur, 1894), a briefer restatement meant to popularize his message, Charlier reiterated his conviction that his proposal “is the only rational and just solution that should be given to the social question, no offense to my more or less self-interested contradictors. There are truths which one neither wants nor dares to face.” But the world was not ready to listen. Unlike Marx’s Manifesto, written at the same time in the same city, Charlier’s Solution du problème social and his subsequent books were hardly read and quickly forgotten.

  1. From militancy to respectability: England between the wars

It is only in the 20th century that Basic Income became a real subject of discussion. Firstly, under names like “social dividend”, “state bonus” and “national dividend” proposals for an Unconditional Basic Income were developed in inter-war debates in England. Secondly, after some years of silence this type of ideas was rediscovered and gained considerable popularity in debates about “demogrants” and “negative income tax” schemes during the 1960s and 70s in the United States. Thirdly, a new period of debate and exploration emerged as Basic Income proposals started being actively discussed in several countries in North-Western Europe from the late 70s and early 80s. Quite independently, this century also saw the introduction of the world’s first — modest but genuine — Basic Income scheme through the birth of the Alaska Permanent Fund, providing annual dividends to all the inhabitants of Alaska.

4. From militancy to respectability: England between the wars

It is only in the 20th century that Basic Income became a real subject of discussion. Firstly, under names like “social dividend”, “state bonus” and “national dividend” proposals for an Unconditional Basic Income were developed in inter-war debates in England. Secondly, after some years of silence this type of ideas was rediscovered and gained considerable popularity in debates about “demogrants” and “negative income tax” schemes during the 1960s and 70s in the United States. Thirdly, a new period of debate and exploration emerged as Basic Income proposals started being actively discussed in several countries in North-Western Europe from the late 70s and early 80s. Quite independently, this century also saw the introduction of the world’s first — modest but genuine — Basic Income scheme through the birth of the Alaska Permanent Fund, providing annual dividends to all the inhabitants of Alaska.

Russell’s combination of anarchism and socialism

Things start waking up in Britain in 1918, towards the end of the First World War. In Roads to Freedom, a short and incisive book first published in 1918, the mathematician, philosopher, non-conformist political thinker, militant pacifist and Nobel laureate in literature Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) argues for a social model that combines the advantages of socialism and anarchism. One central component of it is a UBI “sufficient for necessaries”.


Anarchism has the advantage as regards liberty, Socialism as regards the inducement to work.  Can we not find a method of combining these two advantages?  It seems to me that we can. […] Stated in more familiar terms, the plan we are advocating amounts essentially to this: that a certain small income, sufficient for necessaries, should be secured to all, whether they work or not, and that a larger income – as much larger as might be warranted by the total amount of commodities produced – should be given to those who are willing to engage in some work which the community recognizes as useful…When education is finished, no one should be compelled to work, and those who choose not to work should receive a bare livelihood and be left completely free.”

Milner’s State Bonus

In the same year, the young engineer, Quaker and Labour Party member, Dennis Milner (1892-1956), published jointly with his wife Mabel a short pamphlet entitled Scheme for a State Bonus (1918). What they argued for, using an eclectic series of arguments, was the introduction of an income paid unconditionally on a weekly basis to all citizens of the United Kingdom. Pitched at 20% of GDP per capita, the “State bonus” should make it possible to solve the problem of poverty, particularly acute in the aftermath of the war.  As everyone has a moral right to means of subsistence, any obligation to work enforced through the threat of a withdrawal of these means is ruled out. Milner subsequently elaborated the proposal in a book published by a respectable publisher under the title Higher Production by a Bonus on National Output. Many of the arguments that played a central role in later discussions can be found in this book — from the unemployment trap to labour market flexibility, from low rates of take up to the ideal complement of profit sharing, but the emphasis is on the “productivist” case: the state bonus can even be vindicated on grounds of efficiency alone. Milner’s proposal was enthusiastically backed by fellow Quaker Bertram Pickard, supported by the short-lived State Bonus League — under whose banner Milner took part in a national election —, discussed at the 1920 British Labour Party conference and definitively rejected the following year.

Major Douglas and the Social Credit movement

It did not take long, however, for another English engineer, Clifford H (“Major”) Douglas (1879-1952), to take up the idea again with significantly greater impact. Douglas was struck by how productive British industry had become after World War I and began to wonder about the risks of overproduction. How could a population impoverished by four years of war consume the goods available in abundance, when banks were reticent to give them credit and their purchasing power was rising only very slowly?  To solve this problem, Douglas (1924) proposed in a series of lectures and writings, often quite confused, the introduction of “social credit” mechanisms, one of which consisted in paying all households a monthly “national dividend”.  The social credit movement enjoyed varying fortunes. It failed to establish itself in the United Kingdom but attracted many supporters in Canada, where a Social Credit Party governed the province of Alberta from 1935 to 1971, although it rapidly dropped the idea of introducing a national dividend.

Cole and Meade on social dividend

While the popularity of the Social Credit movement was first swelling and next shrinking in broad layers of the British population, the idea of a universal basic income was gaining ground in a small circle of intellectuals close to the British Labour Party. Prominent among them was the economist George D.H. Cole (1889-1959), the first holder of Oxford’s Chichele Chair of Social and Political Theory (later held by Isaiah Berlin, Charles Taylor and G.A. Cohen). In several books, he resolutely defended what he was the first to call a “social dividend” (in Principles of Economic Planning, 1935):  “Current productive power is, in effect, a joint result of current effort and of the social heritage of inventiveness and skill incorporated in the stage of advancement and education reached in the arts of production; and it has always appeared to me only right that all the citizens should share in the yield of this common heritage, and that only the balance of the product after this allocation should be distributed in the form of rewards for, and incentives to, current service in production.”

Politically less active, but with a far wider international reputation than Cole, another Oxford economist, the Nobel Laureate James Meade (1907-1995), defended the “social dividend” with even greater tenacity. The idea of a social dividend is present in his Outline of an Economic Policy for a Labour Government (1935) and in several other early writings as a central ingredient of a just and efficient economy. And it was to become a crucial component of the Agathotopia project, to which he devoted his last writings (from Agathotopia in 1989 to Full Employment Regained? in1995): partnerships between capital and labour and a social dividend funded by public assets are there offered together as a solution to the problems of unemployment and poverty.

It is against the background of this inter-war discussion that the liberal peer Juliet Rhys-Williams proposed a “new social contract” (in Something to Look Forward To, 1943), whose central element consisted in a Basic Income. Universal, but not quite unconditional, as it made availability for work a necessary counterpart for the uniform grant. Payment of the grant is suspended during strikes, for example. However, it was the alternative proposal for a national minimum income (associated with a broader program of unified national child benefit and social insurance) made in 1942 by another liberal peer, William Beveridge, director of the London School of Economics, that prevailed in Britain — and soon started spreading elsewhere in Europe —, thus relegating UBI-type proposals to the fringe of the UK’s policy-relevant debate.

5. Short-lived effervescence: the United States in the 1960s

Three American approaches to the guaranteed minimum

It is in the turbulent America of the 1960s, at the peak of the civic rights movement, that a real debate on Universal Basic Income resurfaced, with three main sources of inspiration. Firstly, Robert Theobald (1929-1999) and his Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution (1964) defended in various publications a vaguely specified guaranteed minimum income on grounds reminiscent of Douglas, such as the belief that “automation is rendering work for pay obsolete, and that government handouts are the only way to give the public the means to buy the immense bounty produced by automatons”.

Secondly, in his popular Capitalism and Freedom (1962), the American economist and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman (1912-2006) proposed a radical simplification of the American Welfare State through the introduction of what he there called a “negative income tax”. Friedman’s proposal of a linear negative income tax would fully integrate the income tax and transfer systems. It was offered as a simple and radical alternative to the patchwork of existing social welfare schemes. And it was itself meant as a transitional stage on the way to an ideal, transfer-free capitalist society. (For Friedman’s own account of where he got the idea from and relevant references, see the Suplicy-Friedman exchange in BIEN NewsFlash 3, May 2000.)


Finally, and most importantly, James Tobin (1918-2002), John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) and other liberal economists (in the American sense of “liberal”) started defending in a series of articles the idea of a guaranteed minimum income more general, more generous and less dependency-creating than the existing assistance programs. James Tobin, Joseph Pechman and Peter Miezkowski published the first technical analysis of negative income tax schemes in 1967, where they came out in favor of a variant involving an automatic payment to all citizens – a genuine UBI which Joseph Pechman proposed calling “demogrant”. In contrast with Friedman’s proposal, Tobin’s demogrant scheme was not meant to replace the whole system of social assistance and insurance schemes — let alone to help extinguish the welfare state altogether —, but only to reconfigure its lower component so as to make it a more efficient and work-friendlier instrument for raising the incomes of the poor. Under Tobin’s proposal, more generous than Friedman’s and more precise than Theobald’s, each household was to be granted a basic credit at a level varying with family composition, which each family could supplement with earnings and other income taxed at a uniform rate. (For relevant references and Tobin’s own account of how his demogrant proposal evolved, see the Suplicy-Tobin exchange in BIEN NewsFlash 11, September 2001)

Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan and McGovern’s demogrant proposal

In this lively and promising context, a petition was organized in the Spring of 1968 calling for the US Congress “to adopt this year a system of income guarantees and supplements”. It was supported by James Tobin, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith and over one thousand more economists, though not by Milton Friedman. In a context in which dependence on the existing means-tested welfare system was increasing dramatically, this petition contributed to creating a climate in which the administration felt it had to move ahead. This led to the Family Assistance Plan (FAP), an ambitious social welfare program prepared by the Democrat senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) on behalf of Republican President Richard Nixon’s administration. The FAP provided for the abolition of the aid program targeting poor families (AFDC) and incorporated a guaranteed income with financial supplements for workers which came close to a negative income tax scheme except for its not being obligation-free. It was publicly presented by President Nixon in August 1969, adopted in April 1970 by a large majority in the US House of Representatives, rejected by the relevant Commission of the US Senate in November 1970, and definitively rejected in 1972 despite several amendments meant to assuage the opposition, owing to a coalition between those who found it too timid and those who found it too bold.

A more ambitious “demogrant” plan was included on James Tobin’s advice in democrat George McGovern’s platform for the 1972 presidential election, but dropped after the Democratic Party primaries, in August 1972. Combined with McGovern’s defeat by Nixon in November 1972, the beginning of the Watergate affair in March 1973 and Nixon’s resignation in November 1974, the defeat of the FAP in the Senate marked the end of the short but strong appearance of UBI-type ideas in the US debate. The discussion continued however in a more academic vein, on the basis of five large-scale experiments with negative income tax schemes (four in the USA and one in Canada) and controversies over the results.

6. New departure: North-Western Europe in the 1980s

Debates in Denmark and the Netherlands

Towards the end of the 1970s, while the demogrant debate was virtually forgotten in the United States, a debate on Basic Income started up from scratch in a number of European countries, in near total ignorance of previous discussions, whether in Europe or in America. Thus, in Denmark, three academics defended a UBI proposal by the name of “citizen’s wage” in a national best-seller later translated into English under the title Revolt from the Center (1978). But it is above all in the Netherlands that the new European discussion on UBI took off. The first voice to be heard in this discussion was that of Jan Pieter Kuiper, a professor of social medicine at the Free University of Amsterdam. He was struck by how sick some people could make themselves by working too much while others were getting sick because they could not find work. In an article published in 1976, he therefore recommended uncoupling employment and income as a way of countering the de-humanizing nature of paid employment: only a decent “guaranteed income”, as he called it, would enable people to develop independently and autonomously. In 1977, the small radical party PPR (Politieke Partij Radicalen), grown out of the left of the Dutch Christian-democratic party, became the first European political party with parliamentary representation to officially include an unconditional basic income (basisinkomen) in its electoral program. The movement grew quite rapidly, thanks to the involvement of the food sector trade union Voedingsbond, a component of the main Trade Union Confederation FNV. With its exceptionally high proportion of women and part-time workers among its members and with a woman as its leader, the Voedingsbond played a major role in the Dutch debate throughout the 1980s. It initiated a series of publications and actions defending an unconditional basic income combined with a significant reduction in working time and hosted the Dutch basic uncome association on its premises. In 1985, the Dutch discussion reached a first climax when the prestigious Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) created a sensation by publishing a report in which it recommended unambiguously the introduction of a so-called “Partial Basic Income”. Such a artial basic income is a genuine unconditional basic income, but at a level insufficient to cover the needs of a single person and hence not meant to replace entirely the existing conditional minimum income system.

Developments in Britain, Germany and France

Around the same time, the debate began to take shape in other countries too, albeit more discretely.  In 1984, a group of academics and activists gathered around Bill Jordan and Hermione Parker under the auspices of the National Council for Voluntary Organizations formed the Basic Income Research Group (BIRG) – which was to become in 1998 the Citizen’s Income Trust. Despite the consistent support of independent minds such as the assistant editor of the Financial Times Samuel Brittan and the sympathy shown for the idea by the liberal-democrat party, the basic income idea did not manage to reach mainstream politics.

In Germany, Thomas Schmid, an eco-libertarian from Berlin, got the discussion going with a collection of essays entitled Befreing von falscher Arbeit (1984). Collective volumes emanating from the green movement developed this first initiative (Das garantierte Grundeinkommen,1986; Umbau des Sozialstaats, 1987). At the same time, Joachim Mitschke professor of public finance at the University of Frankfurt, started advocating a citizen’s income (Bürgergeld) administered in the form of a negative income tax.

In France, the debate got off the ground more slowly. The influential left-wing social thinker André Gorz (1923-2007) was attracted by the idea but defended a life-long income coupled to a universal social service of 20,000 hours (Les Chemins du paradis,1985) before endorsing much later the idea of an unconditional basic income (Misères du présentrichesse du possible, 1997). In a very different vein, the economist Yoland Bresson (L’Après-salariat, 1984), self-described as a “left Gaullist” economist, offered a convoluted argument for a universal ”existence income” supposed to be pitched at a level objectively determined by the “value of time”.

The founding meeting of BIEN in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), 1986. From left to right on stage: Riccardo Petrella, Greetje Lubbi, Anne Miller, Nic Douben, Philippe Van Parijs, Claus Offe, Bill Jordan.

The founding meeting of BIEN in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), 1986. From left to right on stage: Riccardo Petrella (European Commission), Greetje Lubbi (Food workers Union FNV, Netherlands), Anne Miller (Heriot-Watt University, Scotland), Nic Douben (Scientific Council for Government Policy, Netherlands), Philippe Van Parijs (University of Louvain, Belgium), Claus Offe (University of Bremen, Germany), Bill Jordan (University of Exeter, England).

The birth and expansion of BIEN

These modest national debates emerged independently from one another and the intellectual contributions that fed them were unaware of most of the history of the idea, if not the whole of it. However, they gradually came into contact with one another thanks to the creation of BIEN, on the occasion of the “first international conference on Basic Income” held in the university town of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) in September 1986. Pleasantly surprised to discover how many people were interested in an idea they thought they were almost alone in defending, the participants decided to set up the Basic Income European Network (BIEN), which published a regular newsletter and organized conferences every two years.

The birth of similar networks in the United States, South America and South Africa, the intensification of contacts with pre-existing networks in Australia and New Zealand, and the presence of an increasing number of non-Europeans at the BIEN conferences, led BIEN to re-interpret its acronym as the Basic Income Earth Network at its 10th congress, held in Barcelona in September 2004. The first congress outside Europe of the newly created worldwide network was held at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) in October 2006. A short history of BIEN can be found elsewhere on this website.

Modest but real: Alaska’s dividends

The introduction and development of the only genuine universal basic income system in existence to this day took place a long way from these intellectual debates. In the mid 1970s, Jay Hammond, the Republican governor of the state of Alaska (United States) was concerned that the huge wealth generated by oil mining in Prudhoe Bay, the largest oilfield in North America, would only benefit the current population of the state. He suggested setting up a permanent fund to ensure that this wealth would be preserved, through investment of part of the oil revenues. In 1976, the Alaska Permanent Fund was created by an amendment to the State Constitution. In order to get the Alaskan population interested in its growth and continuity, Governor Hammond conceived of the annual payment of a dividend to all residents, in proportion to their number of years of residence. Brought before the United States Supreme Court on grounds of discrimination against immigrants from other states, the proposal was declared inconsistent with the “equal protection clause”, the fourteenth amendment of the Federal Constitution. It was then amended in order to overcome this objection and transformed into a genuine unconditional basic income.

Since the program was first implemented in 1982, everyone who has been officially resident in Alaska for at least six months has received a uniform dividend every year, whatever their age and number of years of residence in the State. This dividend corresponds to part of the average interest earned by the permanent fund over the previous five years. The fund was initially invested exclusively in the Alaskan economy, but later became an international portfolio, thus enabling the distribution of the dividend to cushion fluctuations in the local economic situation instead of amplifying them. The level of the dividend has been fluctuating from year to year in lagged response to fluctuations of the stock market.  Alaska’s oil dividend scheme has repeatedly been proposed for other parts of the world, but still remains unique. Its being rooted in an equal right to the value of natural resources is reminiscent of theearliest justifications for an unconditional basic income by Paine and Spence, Fourier and Charlier. But its connection with the extraction of non renewable resources makes it a very imperfect model for the future.

Philippe Van Parijs


  • This short overview of the history of the idea of Basic Income is largely based on chapters 3 and 4 of Philippe Van Parijs & Yannick Vanderborght, Basic Income. A radical proposal for a free society and a sane economy (Harvard University Press 2017 (paperback 2019, also published in Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Russian and Chinese).
  • A more comprehensive account of the history of Basic Income, with special emphasis on the British contributions, can be found in  Malcolm Torry, Basic Income: A History, Edward Elgar, 2021.
  • Our knowledge of the earliest appearances of the idea of Basic Income is greatly indebted to research by Walter Van Trier (Everyone a King, 1995) and by John Cunliffe and Guido Erreygers (The Origins of Universal Grants. An Anthology of Historical Writings on Basic Capital and Basic Income, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
  • The history and prospects of the Alaskan dividend scheme are discussed in depth in Widerquist, Karl and Michael Howard, eds. Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

This article is available in Polish here