Basic income studies: news on how to access the full text articles

Some news on how to access full text versions of articles published by Basic Income Studies (BIS) on the website of its new publisher, DeGruyter:

Individual users with already existing accounts at the DeGruyter site can use the token “newusercredits”. This token can be entered in the window popping up when a user chooses a BIS article and clicks on “Get Access to Full Text”.

For new users … DeGruyter is planning to include the BIS as part of a free access promotional package of 11 journals. When this promotion is launched, all BIS articles will be freely accessible for every new user registering (i.e. creating a new account) on

For technical reasons, current registered users with DeGruyter will have to use the token as outlined above in order to access full text articles.

LIBRARY ACCESS: If you have access to a library that subscribes to Basic Income Studies, this of course is another means of accessing the journal.  If the library at your institution or organization does not yet subscribe to BIS, please suggest that they do so!

If you are having access problems to BIS, please contact

Publications: Basic Income Studies releases its October 2011 issue

Basic Income Studies is the only academic journal devoted entirely to examining basic income. In October 2011 it released a special issue, edited by Daniel Mosley, entitled, “Should Libertarians Endorse Basic Income?” The debate includes the following articles:

MOSELEY, DANIEL D., “Introduction: What is Libertarianism?”
Abstract – This article introduces the special Basic Income Studies journal’s debate issue on whether libertarians should endorse a universal basic income. The article clarifies some common uses of the term “libertarianism” as it is used by moral and political philosophers. It identifies some important common features of libertarian normative theories.

MOSELEY, DANIEL D. “A Lockean Argument for Basic Income”
Abstract – Libertarians should not reject the goal of establishing a global basic income program. There are strong Lockean considerations that favor such a program. This article explains a conception of equal share left-libertarianism that is supported by the rights of full self-ownership and world ownership. It argues that an appropriately constructed basic income program would be a key institution for promoting those rights.

LAYMAN DANIEL “Locke on Basic Income.” This essay was runner-up for the 2011 BIS Essay Prize
Abstract – Perhaps the strongest attempts to derive support for basic income policy from John Locke’s political philosophy hinge on Locke’s view that the world and its resources were originally owned in common by all persons. This world ownership, many have supposed, gives all persons a natural right to equal shares of resources and thus a right to an equal basic income under conditions (like our own) in which nearly all resources have been appropriated. This reasoning betrays a misunderstanding of Locke’s conception of original world ownership and, once this understanding is corrected, it becomes clear that there is no natural right to equal shares of resources, although there is a natural right to sufficient shares. Consequently, although governments must guarantee sufficiency for their citizens, there is no Lockean reason why this guarantee must take the form of a basic income or a scheme of equal and unconditional payments.

BOETTKE, PETER J. AND ADAM MARTIN, “Taking the ‘G’ out of BIG: A Comparative Political Economy Perspective on Basic Income”
Abstract – Basic Income Guarantee proposals aim at, among other objectives, the salutary goal of providing a minimum income floor beneath which individuals cannot fall. We analyze this family of proposals through the lens of comparative political economy, arguing that politics is not an appropriate institutional environment for pursuing the end of an income floor. Once the notion of a guaranteed income is cast in realistic, probabilistic terms, it becomes a live question whether the market or the polity can better secure a Basic Income. Actual markets must be compared to real-world political processes rather than idealized policy proposals in order to ascertain their desirability. Drawing on the extant literature on the failure of political processes to realize the goals of other redistributive programs, we argue that Basic Income proposals likewise ignore politics as practiced and are thus equally subject to critiques both of their means-ends coherence and their vulnerability to political opportunism.

ZWOLINSKI, MATT, “Classical Liberalism and the Basic Income”
Abstract – This article provides a brief overview of the relationship between libertarian political theory and the Basic Income (BI). It distinguishes between different forms of libertarianism and argues that at least one form, classical liberalism, is compatible with and provides some grounds of support for BI. A classical liberal BI, however, is likely to be much smaller than the sort of BI defended by those on the political left. And there are both contingent-empirical and principled-moral reasons for doubting that the classical liberal case for BI will be ultimately successful.

MUNGER, MICHAEL C. “Basic Income Is Not an Obligation, But It Might Be a Legitimate Choice”
Abstract – A distinction is made between libertarian destinations and libertarian directions.  Basic income cannot be part of a truly libertarian state unless it could be accomplished entirely through voluntary donations. But basic income is an important step in a libertarian direction because it improves core values such as self-ownership, liberty, and efficiency of transfers while reducing coercion and increasing procedural fairness. Practical approaches to achieving basic income are compared to proposals by Milton Friedman and Charles Murray.

POWELL, BRIAN K. “Two Libertarian Arguments for Basic Income Proposals”
Abstract – For those familiar only with libertarians on the economic right, it seems obvious that libertarians will oppose basic income proposals. However, there are a variety of ways to argue for basic income proposals from within a “left” or “egalitarian” libertarian framework. In this article I argue that such a framework ought to be preferred to the alternative right-libertarian framework. Then I look at a simple left-libertarian argument for basic income proposals that is inspired by Thomas Paine and Henry George, and at another, more complex, argument offered by Phillipe Van Parijs.

VALLENTYNE, PETER, “Libertarianism and the Justice of a Basic Income”
Abstract – Whether justice requires, or even permits, a basic income depends on two issues: 1. Does justice permit taxation to generate revenues for distribution to others? 2. If so, does justice require, or even permit, equal and unconditional distribution for some portion of the tax revenues? I claim the following: 1. although all forms of libertarianism reject the nonconsensual taxation of labor and the products of labor, all but radical right-libertarianism allow a kind of wealth taxation for rights over natural resources, and 2. some versions of libertarianism allow the equal and unconditional distribution of such revenues and some do not.

The October issue also includes the following book reviews:
Pérez, Jose Luis Rey, “Review of Gijs van Donselaar, The Right to Exploit: Parasitism, Scarcity, Basic Income

Vick, Andrea,, “Review of Doris Schroeder, Work Incentives and Welfare Provision: The ‘Pathological’ Theory of Unemployment”

Online at:


Basic Income Studies (BIS) is the first academic journal dedicated to research on basic income. Each year it awards a prize for the best English-language essay presented at the following conferences: BIEN on even years and NA-BIG on the odd years. The winning essay and runner-up are published in BIS. The winning essay for 2010 was Hamid Tabatabai, for his essay, “The ‘Basic Income’ Road to Reforming Iran’s Price Subsidies.” It will appear in the next issue of BIS. The abstract of the article is below. We congratulate Dr. Tabatabai. The runner-up for 2010 was Peter P. Houtzager, for his essay, “Reformist Professionals and the Silent Revolution in Social Policy: Minimum Income Guarantees In Brazil.” It will appear in a later issue of BIS. Below are the abstracts for the two essays:

“The ‘Basic Income’ Road to Reforming Iran’s Price Subsidies.”

Hamid Tabatabai

ABSTRACT: Iran has become the first country in the world to provide a de facto basic income to all its citizens. This article reviews the development of the main component of Iran’s economic reform plan – the replacement of fuel and food subsidies with direct cash transfers to the population – and shows how a system of universal, regular, and unconditional cash transfers emerged, almost by default, as a by-product of an attempt to transform an inefficient and unfair system of price subsidies. The main features of the ‘cash subsidy’ system are compared with those of a basic income and some lessons are drawn with a view to enhancing the prospects of basic income as a more realistic proposition.

“Reformist Professionals and the Silent Revolution in Social Policy: Minimum Income Guarantees In Brazil.”

Peter P. Houtzager

ABSTRACT: Minimum income guarantee programmes in Brazil represent one of the most significant changes in policy towards the poor since the 1960s. Contrary to expectations in much of the recent literature on Latin America’s public sector, the programmes are less the product of mobilisation from below or state elite vision, than the initiative of reformist middle class professionals with at least one foot in the public sector. This article traces the role of a loose network of reformist labour economists in the two-decade trajectory (1990-2010) of the first family minimum income programme (Renda Minima) proposed in Brazil – that of the metropolis of São Paulo.


Basic Income Studies (BIS) has announced the recent publication of one issue of the journal. The contents of the issue is below. BIS issues are available for free sampling at Click the required article and follow the instructions to get free guest access to all BIS publications.


‘Behavioral Economics and the Basic Income Guarantee’ by Wesley J. Pech

Abstract: This article provides a critical discussion of the potential contributions behavioral economics makes to the idea of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). Behavioral economics suggests that the consequences of a basic income may be significantly different from the ones predicted by the Standard Economic Model. Three topics from this literature are analyzed and linked to the BIG idea: Prospect Theory, Motivation Crowding Theory, and Conspicuous Consumption. The article argues that a basic income may be efficiency enhancing under some conditions, but at the same time incentives related to positional concerns may increase wasteful expenditure following its implementation.

‘Working Through the Work Disincentive’ by Chandra Pasma

Abstract: The work disincentive appears to be one of the biggest obstacles to basic income. There are concerns about paying people for doing nothing and fears of people withdrawing from the labor market because they have income security. It is important therefore for basic income advocates to understand the arguments and assumptions underlying the work disincentive concerns in order to successfully counter them. This article considers the primary assumptions, including those about what motivates people to work, what activities count as good, job availability, the distinction between the disabled and those able to work, and whether it is wrong to pay people for doing nothing; this article also provides a critical assessment.

‘Basic Income and Social Value’ by Bill Jordan.

Abstract: This article suggests that the justification of basic income should take account of the evidence of a divergence between growing incomes and stagnating subjective well-being (SWB) in the affluent countries. It argues that this implies taking the debate outside the orthodox model of economic development and the strict methodological individualism adopted by Van Parijs and others. This demands more attention to social relations and an analysis in terms of the production of social value rather than utility and culture rather than contract.

Research Note: ‘Seigniorage as a Source for a Basic Income Guarantee’ by Nicolaus Tideman and Kwok Ping Tsang

Abstract: A basic income guarantee should be financed from a source to which all persons have equal rights. One such source is seigniorage, the profit from printing paper money. This article reports real seigniorage, measured in 2009 dollars, for the U.S. for the past 50 years. It averaged about $175 per year per person over the age of 20. Thus seigniorage would not have been a major source for a basic income guarantee. But three caveats are in order. First, a practice of giving every adult an equal share of money would have meant a lifetime, interest-free loan of about $4,000 per adult. Second, the Federal Reserve’s response to the crisis at the end of 2008 would have meant an additional loan of about $3,400 per adult for the duration of the crisis. Third, a monetary system without fractional reserve banking would probably entail much greater seigniorage.

‘Review of Robert F. Clark, Giving Credit Where Due: A Path to Global Poverty Reduction’ by Edward Laws

‘Review of Loek Groot, Basic Income, Unemployment and Compensatory Justice’ by David J. Marjoribanks


Basic Income Studies (BIS) has announced the recent publication of two issues of the journal. The contents of the issues are below. BIS issues are available for free sampling at Click the required article and follow the instructions to get free guest access to all BIS publications.


Special Issue on “The Green Case for Basic Income”, guest-edited by Simon Birnbaum


“Introduction: Basic Income, Sustainability and Post-Productivism”
Simon Birnbaum

“Basic Income From an Ecological Perspective”
Jan Otto Andersson

“Basic Income and Sustainable Consumption Strategies”
Paul-Marie Boulanger

“Political Ecology: From Autonomous Sphere to Basic Income”
Philippe Van Parijs

“Basic Income, Post-Productivism and Liberalism”
Tony Fitzpatrick

“Mobility, Inclusion and the Green Case for Basic Income”
Gideon Calder



“Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise With a Microeconometric Model”
Ugo Colombino, Marilena Locatelli, Edlira Narazani and Cathal O’Donoghue

“Why Cash Violates Neutrality”
Joseph Heath and Vida Panitch

“Near-Universal Basic Income”
Nir Eyal


“The Right to Existence in Developing Countries: Basic Income in East Timor”
David Casassas, Daniel Raventós, and Julie Wark

“Baby Steps: Basic Income and the Need for Incremental Organizational Development”
Jason B. Murphy


Review of “Alanna Hartzok, The Earth Belongs to Everyone
Anthony Squiers

To submit your next paper to Basic Income Studies, visit, and click “Submit Article”. If you like to discuss your contribution informally, contact editors Jurgen De Wispelaere or Karl Widerquist at

BIS is published by The Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress), sponsored by Red Renta Básica (RRB) and BIEN, and supported by USBIG.