Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Economics

Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics

First Advisor

Yavuz Yasar

Second Advisor

Robert G. Urquhart

Third Advisor

Markus Schneider

Fourth Advisor

Alejandro Cerón Valdés


Economics, Capitalism, Universal basic income (UBI), Social policy


With the triple crisis of capitalism looming and, in the U.S., a poorly performing welfare state, Universal Basic Income (UBI) has returned to popular attention. To assess whether this is warranted and, more importantly, to provide answer on the extent to which a UBI can or should be considered a cure-all, this work, first, examines the historical development of UBI proposals including those stemming from European Social Democrats and Libertarians. Next, pilot programs at the local, state, and national level are critically examined for their methodologies and empirical results. Turning, then, to theory on de-commodification, unpaid labor, and the equality-jobs tradeoff, this paper explores criterion within that theory for assessing UBI and its impacts. Ultimately, I suggest that a UBI is not a cure-all, but it does not have to be a band-aid and, alongside that, a reconceptualization of social policy, generally, and our goals with UBI, specifically, is needed.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Madison Beckner


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


114 pgs

File Size

703 KB