What (If Anything) Can Justify Basic Income Experiments? Balancing Costs and Benefits in Terms of Justice

Basic Income Studies 16 (1):11-25 (2021)
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The central thesis of this essay is that basic income experiments are justified if their expected benefits in terms of justice exceed their expected costs in terms of justice. The benefits are a function of basic income’s effect on the level of justice attained in the context in which it is implemented, and the experiment’s impact on future policy-making. The costs comprise the sacrifices made as a result of the experiment’s interventional character, as well as the study’s opportunity costs. In light of the proposed standard of justification for basic income experiments, the factors that play a role in it, and the way these interact with one another, this essay provides some practical recommendations for researchers hoping to conduct such an experiment.
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