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Basic Income and Migration Policy: A Moral Dilemma?


  • Howard Michael W.

    (University of Maine)


In this paper, the author argues that globalist egalitarians may face a dilemma between a generous welfare policy such as a national basic income (NBI) for all residents, and an egalitarian immigration policy such as open borders, because NBI may have a welfare magnet effect that generates pressure for tightening of borders or restricting NBI to citizens only. However the case for open borders is weaker to the extent that global transfers (such as might occur with a regional basic income or global basic income) address the economic inequities and motives for migration. In the absence of such global or regional institutions, NBI advocates can justify border restriction and a waiting period for BI entitlement, to the extent necessary to prevent a worsening of the condition of the least advantaged compatriots, as temporary measures on a path toward global justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard Michael W., 2006. "Basic Income and Migration Policy: A Moral Dilemma?," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-22, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bistud:v:1:y:2006:i:1:n:4

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    Cited by:

    1. Boso Àlex & Vancea Mihaela, 2012. "Basic Income for Immigrants? The Pull Effect of Social Benefits on Migration," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-18, December.

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