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More for Less: The Job Guarantee Strategy


  • Harvey Philip


The cost and effectiveness of a basic income guarantee and a job guarantee (combined with conventional transfer payments) are compared with respect to their ability to eliminate poverty and unemployment. It is argued that a BI guarantee provided in the form preferred by most advocates of the idea (a universal basic income grant or equivalent negative income tax) would be both more costly and less effective than a job guarantee—if the latter is properly designed to secure the right to work and income security recognized in in the Universal Declaration of Human Right. It is further argued that the job guarantee strategy configured in this way also would do more to promote the real freedom goals of the basic income advocacy movement.

Suggested Citation

  • Harvey Philip, 2012. "More for Less: The Job Guarantee Strategy," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 3-18, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bistud:v:7:y:2012:i:2:p:3-18:n:1
    DOI: 10.1515/bis-2013-0006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karl Widerquist & Michael A. Lewis, 1997. "An Efficiency Argument for the Guaranteed Income," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_212, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Harvey Philip L., 2006. "The Relative Cost of a Universal Basic Income and a Negative Income Tax," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-24, December.
    3. William F. Mitchell & Martin J. Watts, 1997. "The Path to full Employment," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(4), pages 436-443, December.
    4. Offe Claus, 2008. "Basic Income and the Labor Contract," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, July.
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