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Universal Basic Income: A Dynamic Assessment

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  • Daruich, Diego
  • Fernández, Raquel

Abstract

The idea of universal basic income (UBI)---a set income that is given to all without any conditions---is making an important comeback but there is no real evidence regarding its long-term consequences. This paper provides a very inexpensive evaluation of such a policy by studying its dynamic consequences in a general equilibrium model with imperfect capital markets and labor market shocks, in which households make decisions about education, savings, labor supply, and with intergenerational linkages via skill formation. The steady state of the model is estimated to match US household data. We find that a UBI policy that gives all households a yearly income equivalent to the poverty line level has very different welfare implications for those alive when the policy is introduced relative to future generations. While a majority of adults (primarily older non-college workers) would vote in favor of introducing UBI, all future generations (operating behind the veil of ignorance) would prefer to live in an economy without UBI. The expense of the latter leads to lower skill formation and education, requiring even higher tax rates over time. Modeling automation as an increased probability of being hit by an ``out-of-work'' shock, the model is also used to provide insights on how the benefits of UBI change as the environment becomes riskier. The results suggest that UBI may be a useful transitional policy to help current individuals whose skills are more likely to become obsolete and are unprepared for the increased risk, while, simultaneously, education policies may be implemented to increase the likelihood that future cohorts remain productive and employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Daruich, Diego & Fernández, Raquel, 2020. "Universal Basic Income: A Dynamic Assessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 14869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14869
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Universal Basic Income: A Dynamic Assessment
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2021-06-27 05:10:37

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    2. Ali Enami & Ugo Gentilini & Patricio Larroulet & Nora Lustig & Emma Monsalve & Siyu Quan & Jamele Rigolini, 2021. "Universal Basic Income Programs: How Much Would Taxes Need to Rise? Evidence for Brazil, Chile, India, Russia, and South Africa," Working Papers 582, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Corina Boar & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2020. "Efficient Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 27622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Peruffo, Marcel Cortes & Cordeiro Valério, André, 2021. "Universal Basic Income in Developing Countries: Pitfalls and Alternatives," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 821, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Capital; Labor Supply; taxation; universal basic income;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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