A Hayekian Case for Free Markets and a Basic Income

The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income, edited by Michael Cholbi and Michael Weber (Routledge, 2019)

19 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019

See all articles by Matt Zwolinski

Matt Zwolinski

University of San Diego; University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: May 30, 2019

Abstract

Friedrich Hayek is known for his defense of limited government and a free-market economy. But Hayek was also a consistent defender throughout his life of something that looks very much like a Universal Basic Income (UBI). To many, this combination of views will seem paradoxical. The purpose of this paper is to argue that both of these commitments flow naturally from Hayek’s fundamental commitment to individual liberty, understood as the absence of coercion. The paper examines Hayek’s theory of freedom, classifying it as a kind of neo-republican theory concerned with minimizing domination. It then shows how such a commitment to freedom supports both Hayek’s classical liberal commitment to free markets and limited government, and the provision of an “equal minimum for all.” Finally, the paper addresses the question of whether state benefits should be conditioned on work, or willingness to work. Hayek seems to have thought that it should, but there are resources within Hayek’s own thought, I argue, which strongly suggest that it shouldn't.

Keywords: Basic Income, Friedrich Hayek, Libertarianism, Coercion, Liberty, Republicanism

JEL Classification: B00,

Suggested Citation

Zwolinski, Matt, A Hayekian Case for Free Markets and a Basic Income (May 30, 2019). The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income, edited by Michael Cholbi and Michael Weber (Routledge, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3396791

Matt Zwolinski (Contact Author)

University of San Diego ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-4094 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sandiego.edu/~mzwolinski

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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