Politics of Universalism and Unconditional Social Policy: Examining Attitudes Toward Universal Basic Income
Basic Income Studies
26 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020 Last revised: 21 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 21, 2021
Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a periodic cash payment to all residents in a jurisdiction without any obligations to fulfill. Universalism and unconditionality distinguish UBI from other redistributive policies that require means testing and behavioral conditions for cash benefits. Despite the increased interest in UBI, it is poorly understood how these two critical features influence public attitudes toward UBI. This paper uses the 8th round of the European Social Survey and finds that people who support unconditionality are more likely to support UBI, as expected. However, support for UBI is associated with helping low-income individuals instead of instituting universal cash transfers.
Keywords: universal basic income, income distribution, welfare state, social policy
JEL Classification: D9, H24, I3.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation