A basic income and job guarantee are commonly presented as competing solutions to poverty and economic insecurity. In a new paper for the Institute of Labor Economics, however, Felix FitzRoy and Jim Jin of the School of Economics and Finance University of St. Andrews make a case for combining the approaches.

According to the authors, proponents of a basic income often fail to give due attention to the importance of work and employment to subjective well-being and life satisfaction; unlike a basic income, a job guarantee can provide a good job for all those who want to work, and can also offer training and experience to allow individuals to advance to better jobs. At the same time, the authors argue that a job guarantee overlooks the importance of non-standard employment (they note, for example, that self-employed workers often report high levels of satisfaction, and value their autonomy) and unpaid labor, such as child and elder care.      

FitzRoy and Jin develop a proposal for a modest basic income (or partial basic income) in conjunction with a guaranteed job offer for those able and willing to work, striving to combine the advantages of each approach in a policy package that is also both affordable and politically feasible.


Read the full paper here:
Felix FitzRoy and Jim Jin, “Basic Income and a Public Job Offer: Complementary Policies to Reduce Poverty and Unemployment,” Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) Policy Paper No. 133.

Reviewed by Russell Ingram

Photo: Employment Office (1916), CC BY 2.0 Seattle Municipal Archives

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 512 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News.