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

Abstract

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

Lee, Soomi, Politics of Universalism and Unconditional Social Policy: Examining Attitudes Toward Universal Basic Income (June 21, 2021). Basic Income Studies, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3613239 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3613239

Soomi Lee (Contact Author)

University of La Verne ( email )

1950 3rd St.
CBPM120
La Verne, CA CA 91750
United States

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