Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Basic Income Studies

Ed. by Haagh, Anne-Louise / Howard, Michael

2 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.113
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 1.248
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.222

See all formats and pricing

Cost, Compensation, Freedom, and the Basic Income – Guaranteed Jobs Debate

Michael Lewis
  • Corresponding author
  • The Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, New York, NY, USA
  • Email:
Published Online: 2012-12-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bis-2013-0008


In this volume Harvey argues that guaranteeing people the right to work would be a better policy approach than guaranteeing people an unconditional basic income. This is because a guaranteed job would provide many of the benefits that a basic income would but at far lower cost. I argue that Harvey’s analysis of the relative cost differences between guaranteeing one a job or an income is misleading if not flat out wrong in some places. I also argue that there is one benefit that BI could promote that his jobs strategy, at least as presented in the paper in this volume, could not – the right of an able-bodied person to lead the kind of life they desire even if they desire not to sell their labor.

Keywords: basic income; job guarantee; economic security


  • Atkinson, A.(1996). The case for participation income. Political Quarterly, 67, 67–70.

  • Clark, C. M. A.(2003). Promoting economic equity in a 21st century economy: The basic income solution. In Paul Dale Bush & Marc Tool (Eds.), Institutional analysis of economic policy. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 133–156.

  • Currie, E.(1985). Confronting crime: An American challenge. New York: Pantheon Books.

  • Harvey, P.(2005). The right to work and basic income guarantees: Competing or complementary goals. Rutgers Journal of Law and Urban Policy, 8–48.

  • Harvey, P. (2006). The relative cost of a universal basic income and a negative income tax. Basic Income Studies, 1–24.

  • Harvey, P.(2011a). Back to work: A public jobs proposal for economic recovery. Demos. Retrieved November 16, 2012 from http://www.demos.org/publication/back-work-public-jobs-proposal-economic-recovery

  • Harvey, P.(2011b). Securing the right to work at the state or local level with a direct job-creation program. Big Ideas for Jobs Initiative, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California at Berkeley, CA. Retrieved November 16, 2012 from http://www.bigideasforjobs.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Harvey-Full-Report-2-PDF.pdf.

  • Morgan, M. G., & Henrion, M. (1990). Uncertainty: A guide to dealing with uncertainty in quantitative risk and policy analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Nicholson, W.(1989). Microeconomic theory: Basic principles and extensions. Illinois: The Dryden Press.

  • Noguchi, E., & Lewis, M. A. (2007). In defense of lazy: An argument for less work, more community. Discussion Paper #91. Retrieved October 5, 2012 from http://www.usbig.net/papers.php.

  • Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone. New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • Taylor, J. R. (1997). An introduction to error analysis: The study of uncertainties in physical measurements. California: University Science Books.

  • Van Parijs, P. (1995). Real freedom for all: What (if anything) can justify capitalism? New York: Oxford University Press.

About the article

Published Online: 2012-12-31

Citation Information: Basic Income Studies, ISSN (Online) 1932-0183, ISSN (Print) 2194-6094, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bis-2013-0008. Export Citation

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in