What Is Universal Basic Income?
Proponents hail simplicity and equity; skeptics worry about fiscal cost and incentives
Maura Francese and Delphine Prady
MANY GOVERNMENTS PAY pensions to elderly people, or unemployment benefits to those who lose their jobs, or child benefits to families. Cash transfers to households are common in most countries. What is a universal basic income, and how is it different from these programs?
Universal basic income is an incomesupportmechanism typically intended to reach all (or a very large portion of the population
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II. Main Empirical Features
A. The Broad Picture
B. Some Disaggregated Perspectives
C. Wage Dynamics
D. Sectoral Employment and Wage Structures
E. Sectoral Shifts and Labor Reallocation
III. Labor Market Institutions and Their Effects
B. Wage Dispersion
IV. The Structure of Earnings and Employment: Evidence from Micro Data
B. Employment, Unemployment, and
This paper provides a synthesis of existing and new empirical perspectives on the structure of the Italian labor market, using data at different levels of disaggregation. The analysis indicates that aggregate data mask considerable disparities in labor market outcomes across regions and demographic groups. The evolutions of sectoral wage and employment structures also point to some dimensions of labor market rigidities. A micro data set with individual data is then used to highlight key structural problems that affect labor supply and demand. The implications of these different strands of empirical analysis for the formulation and effective implementation of labor market policy are then discussed.
This paper discusses the definition and modelling of a universal basic income (UBI). After clarifying the debate about what a UBI is and presenting the arguments in favor and against, an analytical approach for its assessment is proposed. The adoption of a UBI as a policy tool is discussed with regard to the policy objectives (shaped by social preferences) it is designed to achieve. Key design dimensions to be considered include: coverage, generosity of the program, overall progressivity of the policy, and its financing.
Mr. Benedicte Baduel, Asel Isakova, and Anna Ter-Martirosyan
Sharing economic benefits equitably across all segments of society includes addressing the specific challenges of different generations. At present, youth and elderly are particularly vulnerable to poverty relative to adults in their middle years. Broad-based policies should aim to foster youth integration into the labor market and ensure adequate income and health care support for the elderly. Turning to the intergenerational dimension, everyone should have the same chances in life, regardless of their family background. Policies that promote social mobility include improving access to high-quality care and education starting from a very early age, supporting lifelong learning, effective social protection schemes, and investing in infrastructure and other services to reduce spatial segregation.
This Selected Issues paper for France provides an analytical framework to explain the consequences of the downward shift in the unemployment/wages relationship. This framework is also used to analyze possible changes in the equilibrium unemployment rate resulting from cuts in employers’ social security contributions and movements in the user cost of capital. The contribution of wage moderation to the reduction in the equilibrium unemployment is quantified. The paper also addresses the question of fiscal benefits of job-rich growth in France during 1997–2000.
Mr. Ali Ibrahim, Mr. Arvind Subramanian, and Mr. Luis A. Torres-Castro
This paper examines the theory underpinning the design of optimal tariffs in a developing economy, and the experience of implementation of tariff reforms. A central issue is whether and when a case can be made for a uniform tariff structure. While theory advocates a differentiated tariff structure (except under a balance of payments objective), political economy considerations, inadequate information, and administrative convenience point to a minimally differentiated tariff structure. The experience of reform indicates that tariff structures are mainly influenced by income distribution and protection objectives. The ability to successfully reduce tariffs depends on measures taken to alleviate fiscal and balance of payments constraints.
How should possible policy reforms and projects be assessed when prices give misleading signals? Revenues and costs at market prices then give distorted measures of social gains and losses and our appraisal should use social opportunity costs, or correctly defined, shadow prices. We show how shadow prices may be integrated into an analysis of tax and price reform, demonstrate the critical dependence of these prices on government policy, and analyze their relations with market prices. A conceptual framework for applied analysis is provided plus a detailed theoretical account of policy in a model with some fixed prices, rationing, and taxation.