A Research Agenda for Basic Income

Malcolm Torry has been asked by Edward Elgar Publishing to write a book with the title A Research Agenda for Basic Income. To ensure that what he writes will be as useful and comprehensive as possible, he would like to receive as many answers as possible to the question:

What research is now required?

Please keep your submissions to no more than 100 words and send them by the 28th February 2022 to


He will use the submissions to create a consultation paper on which further consultation can then take place.

Your reward will be a mention in the acknowledgements.

Dr. Malcolm Torry is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath, the treasurer of BIEN, author of a number of books about Basic Income, and editor of the Palgrave International Handbook of Basic Income: https://torry.org.uk/basic-income.

A new project from FRIBIS: Universal Basic Income and Gender

The Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS), a network of several faculties at the University of Freiburg, has expanded with a new international team which focuses on basic income and gender issues, pulled together by Enno Schmidt. It uses as a starting point, the study by Prof. Toru Yamamori on the British women’s liberation movement in 1970’s, which was already calling for a UBI. According to Yamamori, grassroots feminist economic and political thought forms a basis of the demand for basic income, and the beginning of this can be seen during the women’s liberation movement in 1970’s Britain. For this reason, the relationship between grassroots feminist economic and political thought and basic income deserves to be re-examined, as this area has often been overlooked.

As a comprehensive research and design goal, the initiative seeks to examine grassroots feminist economic understanding and behavior and its potential in forming a new social contract with a particular focus on asic income. Based on this main principle, to amplify the voice of women in basic income research and design, the initiative seeks three objectives.. First, the further elaboration of Toru Yamamori’s study with final book publication, supported in particular by the collaboration of Barb Jacobson and Dr. Liz Fouksman in the UK. Secondly, a study and documentation on the question of women’s understanding of and behaviour in the economy and cooperation with members of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India under guidance of Renana Jhabvala. This will be supplemented by similar empirical research by Liz Fouksman in South Africa and Prof. Dr. Kaori Katada in Japan and by the experiences, data and results of basic income projects in Canada by Chloe Halpenny. As a third goal, enriched by the outputs of the other 2 goals, the initiative aims to embed their relevance in a potential new social contract for real gender equality. This is planned to be introduced as a pilot project, in a yet to be determined region in the USA under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Almaz Zelleke and others to come. However, the team is also open to new influences and directions that arise during the collaboration, for example an additional focus on China.

For these purposes, the research programme will take place in 4 stages. The first phase will include a manifesto and presentations based on research which is already ongoing and which will start shortly. At this stage, the data, interviews and questionnaires of the participating researchers will be used. In the second phase, the focus will be on the collective reconstruction and articulation of “grassroots feminist economic and political thought”. At this stage, the experiences of relevant people in the research team will be used. In the third stage, the aim is to determine the positions of the above research in academic disciplines. In this sense, theoretical and anthropological studies will be carried out at this stage and the theoretical infrastructure of the outputs of the first two stages will be established. Based on the presentation and evaluation of the nature of women’s cooperation and work, and women’s perspectives on work and economy, this will significantly benefit from the experience of SEWA, and the Basic Income Pilot Projects for women in New Delhi and the 2009-10 pilot project in Madhya Pradesh. The fourth and final stage as envisaged so far, will include the implementation of UBI and new laws in a community in the USA.

In summary, the project aims to combine the introduction of a basic income and the creation of a new social contract from the point of view of women. The output that is intended to be reached at the end of the project is the draft of a new social contract. In other words, the main goal here is to present in a holistic way a draft programme for a society based on unconditional basic income, which is necessary to bring women to equal status with men.

The research team consists of Dr. Liz Fouksman, Chloe Halpenny, Prof. Dr. Kaori Katada, Prof. Dr. Toru Yamamori, Prof. Dr. Almaz Zelleke and as actors from social society Barb Jacobson and Renana Jhabvala. PhD student Jessika Schulz is organisational coordinator of the team on the part of FRIBIS.

Further information about the initiative and the project can be found at the following links:


Endless thanks to Enno Schmidt for his valuable contribution to this article.

Serkan Simsir

Four Chinese students have been working with BIEN for three months

From the 24th May to the 24th August 2021 four Chinese students undertook internships with BIEN. They attended a five day introductory course about Basic Income and the global Basic Income debate, translated pages and posts on the BIEN website into Chinese, summarised in English relevant documents in Chinese, constructed individual Basic Income schemes for China and worked together to create a joint Basic Income scheme, completed individual projects that connected what they had learnt about Basic Income with the subjects of their degrees, and attended the BIEN congress. it was a pleasure to be able to work with such intelligent and motivated students.

The translations of pages and posts on the BIEN website into Chinese can be found here;

summaries in English of relevant documents in Chinese here;

and the Basic Income scheme for China that the students created together is here.

The students’ final individual projects are listed here:

Our thanks to Amanda, Sherry, Qihao and Joey for working with BIEN; to Dr. Furui Cheng, Tyler Prochazka, Li-Hsin Leen, Dr. Leah Hamilton, and other members of the Executive Committee, for assistance with the introductory course and other aspects of the internship programme; and to the Global Cultural Adventurers organisation for finding such intelligent and committed students for us to work with.

A comprehensive history of Basic Income

A comprehensive history of Basic Income

A comprehensive history of Basic Income is to be published this month.

The publisher says this about the book: 

Presenting a truly comprehensive history of Basic Income, Malcolm Torry explores the evolution of the concept of a regular unconditional income for every individual, as well as examining other types of income as they relate to its history. Examining the beginnings of the modern debate at the end of the eighteenth century right up to the current global discussion, this book draws on a vast array of original historical sources and serves as both an in-depth study of, and introduction to, Basic Income and its history.

Summaries in English of some documents in Chinese

During the Summer of 2021 four Chinese students volunteered with BIEN, and one of the tasks that they fulfilled was to write summaries in English of a number of relevant documents in Chinese.

Name of original document in ChineseSummaries
天上掉馅饼的全民基本收入设想劳拉泰森Summary 1
中国失业保险制度改革方向纳入社省略助基于历史背景与功能定位的分析_李珍Summary 2
丰裕社会的减贫实验西方全民基本收入运动及其困境林红Summary 3
全民基本收入社会福利制度的创新还是空想徐富海Summary 4
全民基本收入西方国家再平衡的一个尝试赵柯Summary 5
全民基本收入成本与中国政府财政能力基于马丁法贫困测量的实证研究肖涵Summary 6
全民基本收入理论与政策评介_万海远Summary 7
基本收入的理论构想与渐进式实现路径_张传洲Summary 8
大规模社会危机冲击下的现金补助计划基于全民基本收入理念的分析岳经纶Summary 9
授之以鱼抑或授之以渔全民基本收入是祝福还是诅咒后歆桐Summary 10
普遍基本收入回应人工智能挑战的政策选择肖涵Summary 11
民众福利与政府角色_任赜Summary 12
资本主义制度再平衡全民基本收入的理念与实践赵柯Summary 13

Thank you to Chunzhuo Zhang (Joey), Fang Yuan (Sherry), Xianwen Huang (Amanda) and Qihao Liang (Qihao) for writing these summaries.

3rd Gyeonggi Basic Income Conference featured researchers from BIEN

With the theme, ‘From the COVID-19 Disaster to New Great Transition, Basic Income!’ the 3rd annual Basic Income International Conference was held in Gyeonggi Provence, South Korea, 28-29 April 2021. Hosted by the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, and organised by Gyeonggi Research Institute (GRI), Gyeonggi-do Market Revitalization Agency (GMRA), KINTEX, and the Basic Income Korean Network (BIKN), it featured panel talks and discussion by many researchers from BIEN, including Chair Sarath Davala, Hyosang Ahn, Philippe Van Parijs, Guy Standing, Annie Miller, Troy Henderson, Louise Haagh, Almaz Zelleke, Julio Linares, Roberto Merrill among others. Economist Joseph Stiglitz gave a keynote speech on the second day.

Gyeonggi Provence has been at the forefront of implementing pilot projects of basic income, including a youth basic income, which was expanded to the entire province during the covid crisis, and more recently basic incomes for rural and fishing communities.

The playlist for the conference, which includes versions translated into English is here. In order to find the talks you would like to listen to, please consult the programme here. All times are approximate.