There has long been a minority view that providing people with cash is an effective way of combating poverty and economic insecurity while promoting livelihoods and work. The mainstream view has nevertheless been that giving people money, without conditions or obligations, promotes idleness and dependency, while being unnecessarily costly. This paper reviews recent evidence on various types of schemes implemented in developing countries, including several pilot cash transfer schemes, assessing them by reference to principles of social justice. It concludes that experience with cash transfers is strengthening the case for a universal basic income.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston