Universal Basic Income: Implications for work and employment

July 2017 to July 2018

The universal and unconditional nature of a Basic Income raises questions about how Basic Income schemes affect work incentives and the type and quality of work undertaken. By avoiding means testing and divorcing eligibility to social protection transfers from any labour contribution, a Basic Income could influence work outcomes differently compared with targeted and conditional cash transfers.

Against the backdrop of the rise in non-standard forms of employment, automation and the gig economy, this study explores the main arguments linking Basic Income to work and employment, reviewing both the theory and evidence. It covers the following work-related outcomes:

  • work incentives
  • worker bargaining power
  • the valuation and distribution of unpaid work
  • formal-informal work.

This study is funded by the World Bank.