Universal Basic Income Proposals in Light of ILO Standards: Key Issues and Global Costing

66 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2018  

Isabel Ortiz

United Nations - International Labour Organization (ILO); Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Christina Behrendt

International Labour Organization; International Labour Office

Andres Acuña-Ulate

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Nguyen Quynh Anh

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Date Written: June 29, 2018

Abstract

This paper reviews proposals for a Universal Basic Income (UBI) in light of ILO standards. Some UBI proposals have the potential to advance equity and social justice, while others may result in a net welfare loss. The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation (No. 202) includes a number of principles which are highly relevant to guide the debate on UBI, namely: (i) adequacy and predictability of UBI benefits to ensure income security, set at least at the national poverty line; (ii) social inclusion, including of persons in the informal economy; (iii) social dialogue and consultation with stakeholders; (iv) enactment of national laws regulating UBI entitlements, including indexation of benefits; (v) coherence with other social, economic and employment policies, and (vi) sustainable and equitable financing. The impact of a UBI on poverty and inequality depends on the level of benefits and the source of funding. Based on these principles, the paper shows that some models of UBI can be in accordance with ILO standards, while others are not.

Keywords: universal basic income, social protection, social security systems, social protection floors, public expenditures

JEL Classification: I3, H53, H55

Suggested Citation

Ortiz, Isabel and Behrendt, Christina and Acuña-Ulate, Andres and Anh, Nguyen Quynh, Universal Basic Income Proposals in Light of ILO Standards: Key Issues and Global Costing (June 29, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3208737 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3208737

Isabel Ortiz (Contact Author)

United Nations - International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

ILO HQ, Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland
+41227996226 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ilo.org/

Initiative for Policy Dialogue ( email )

Columbia University
New York, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://policydialogue.org/programs/taskforces/global_social_justice/

Christina Behrendt

International Labour Organization ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.ilo.org

International Labour Office ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.ilo.org

Andres Acuña-Ulate

International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

Nguyen Quynh Anh

International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

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