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Universal Basic Income and Negative Income Tax: Two Different Ways of Thinking Redistribution


  • Davide, Tondani


This article examines two redistributive programs: Negative Income Tax and Universal Basic Income. Its aim is to show that, even if the two programs – through the implementation of an appropriate tax-benefit system – can get the same distributive outcome, they are deeply different both from an economic point of view and an ethic perspective. The approach adopted integrates positive and normative analysis so that an explicit attention to ethical issues can provide a more complete descriptive economics. We show that Negative Income Tax scheme is consistent with the libertarian idea of distributive justice, while Basic Income matches with the egalitarian thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide, Tondani, 2007. "Universal Basic Income and Negative Income Tax: Two Different Ways of Thinking Redistribution," MPRA Paper 2052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2052

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Denis Maguain, 2002. "Les théories de la justice distributive post-rawlsiennes. Une revue de la littérature," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 53(2), pages 165-199.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mery Ferrando & Cristian Pérez Muñoz & Gonzalo Salas, 2013. "Impuestos negativos a la renta en Uruguay: ¿una política redistributiva alternativa?," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, January.
    2. Kederer, Jan-Felix & Klein, Adelheid & Kovarich, Daniel & Kumm, Lena, 2017. "Social justice in the context of redistribution," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 01-2017, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    3. Alari Paulus, 2016. "The antipoverty performance of universal and means-tested benefits with costly take-up," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/12, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

    More about this item


    Basic Income; Negative Income Tax; Redistribution; Distributive Justice;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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