BC Basic Income Project

Vancouver School of Economics Professors David Green, Kevin Milligan, Thomas Lemieux, Nicole Fortin, and Erik Snowberg

This project is to evaluate a Basic Income as a policy tool, we need first to identify the goals advanced by advocates of the approach. The Basic Income is a radical policy tool (though elements of it are already present in current policies) and various proponents have articulated four goals:
  • 1) Reducing or eliminating poverty by providing a guaranteed floor level of income through unconditional cash transfers.
  • 2) Restructuring society to both affect redistributions in the face of a poorly operating labour market and to allow workers to choose types of work that are more rewarding, creative and, potentially, add more to the community.
  • 3) Eliminating the cumbersome, stigmatizing, demeaning, and intrusive aspects of the current welfare system and easing enrollment and maximizing take-up of benefits.
  • 4) Eliminating various cash and in-kind social programs and the associated administrative cost and bureaucracy.