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"Conditionality of social transfers and the progressivity of a universal basic income"
With Nizamul Islam

Abstract :
Implementing a universal basic income (UBI) implies to lift all conditions to social transfers. As a result, those who could but prefer not to take paid jobs and those among them who have a wealthy partner would become eligible to some transfer. We study the welfare consequences of such a policy. First, we estimate, for a sample of European countries, the labor supply of female partners in couples. Then, we identify those who would gain in utility in case a UBI of 30 or 50% of median income is implemented, that is, 1) those who currently receive social assistance or unemployment benefits lower than UBI, 2) those who are currently inactive and are not eligible to any transfer, and mostly 3) those who currently have a job and would find it profitable to quit the labor market to benefit from UBI. More importantly, we evaluate whether this policy would be progressive or regressive as a function of how interpersonal welfare comparisons are built.