Academic Articles; From the web; Opinion; The Independentarian

When people ask me where online to find empirical research on the effects of Basic Income….

When people ask me where to find empirical research on the effects of Basic Income online, I tend to recommend the following sources, both for the sources themselves and for the many more sources you’ll find in their bibliographies:

Karl Widerquist A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments for Researchers, Policymakers, and Citizens, Palgrave Macmillan, December 2018. In case you can’t find my book at your university library, I posted an early draft of it (and as far as I know everything I write) for free on my personal website.

Karl Widerquist “A Failure to Communicate: What (If Anything) Can we Learn from the Negative Income Tax Experiments?” The Journal of Socio-Economics (2005). You can find an early free version here.

Calnitsky, D. (2018) ‘The employer response to the guaranteed annual income’, Socio-Economic Review, 25, 75–25.

Kangas, O., Simanainen, M. and Honkanen, P. (2017) ‘Basic income in the Finnish context’, Intereconomics, 52, 2, 87–91.

Karl Widerquist, “The Cost of Basic Income: Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations,” Basic Income Studies, 2017. Again if you don’t have access through your university, you can find an early version of The Cost of Basic Income on my personal website.

Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research” is helpful, although only a small part of it is empirical.

Widerquist, K., Howard, M. (Editors) Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining Its Suitability as a Model and Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around the World, two books both published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. Contact the editors ( if you have trouble locating the books.

Evelyn Forget, “The town with no poverty: The health effects of a Canadian guaranteed annual income field experiment,” Canadian Public Policy, 2011

Go to Google Scholar: search “basic income” and/or other names for the concept with our without additional key words to narrow it down. Scroll through as many pages of links as you have time for.

Go through the tables of contents for each issue of the journal Basic Income Studies.

Go through the news on Basic Income News, as far back as you have time for, looking for mentions of and links to new research.

Go to the “Basic Income FAQ/wiki,” on Reddit and look for the empirical articles.

I’m leaving out a lot of good stuff because I can’t find it online, but those things together should give you a good idea of the current state of UBI research.

What links would you add (please answer only if you can give the full information about it including an actual links to it)?

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 974 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website ( More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • A systematic scoping review of evidence on impacts and study characteristics was published recently by What Works Scotland:

    The study found evidence on labour market participation, health, education, and a range of social and economic outcomes.

    The evidence from diverse interventions and settings suggests that impacts on labour market participation are small for male heads, and for men and women in contemporary studies. In groups where reductions in labour market activity occurred, time seems to have been channelled into other productive activities. There is also consistent evidence that children and young people spend longer in education. Although less consistent, there is evidence of positive impacts on some health and social outcomes. Some studies reported spillover or wider economic effects such as reductions in health service use and increases in business activity.

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