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  • Reply to: Being open-minded about universal basic income   1 week 4 days ago

    Implicit in the basic income idea is that this is a transfer of cash so that individuals and households will spend basic incomes in the market on the basis of their own preferences. Sounds good in principle, but the idea has different meanings. For example egalitarians see it as a route to gender equality and eliminating income inequalities; libertarians on the other hand view basic income as a way of reducing the state and 'burdens' associated with labour market regulation. Which ever 'lens' one chooses, there are two fundamental challenges that cut across all countries irrespective of level of per capita income (1) basic income is a strategy for distribution without a strategy for production whereas existing social security systems in MICs and HICs - and safety nets in LICs - are expected to complement labour market participation and not to replace it; (2) markets do not work well, even in high income countries( and not all social risks - such as the need for long term or child protection measures - are amenable to social insurance instruments. Thus there are are least five policy areas, in HICs, where distributing cash may not suffice: health, social care, housing and food. For health and social care it is widely accepted that a public system is needed, and needs to be financed by taxes or social insurance by the state. Likewise housing is poorly served by the market with high and low rents which generates exclusion through shortages of supply. This calls for state intervention beyond a basic allowance for housing costs. In LIC settings, market imperfections are numerous. Thus any consideration of basic income has to be considered alongside the broader provision of public goods. The idea of universal basic income hold much appeal, but is not obvious that it will give a much better outcome than improvement and expansion of existing social protection systems. A more worthwhile endeavour might focus on productive employment, the relationships between taxation and benefits (e.g., EUROMOD), and pre-distribution programmes( education and TVET, early child development, child protection, and long term care for the growing elderly population). Such an approach might help the World Bank move away from its traditional SP silos (pensions, cash transfers) and being to look at holistic systems of social protection. This where the need for fresh thunking and new approaches is greatest.

  • Reply to: Financial incentives in health: supply- vs. demand-side. Your help is needed!   1 month 1 week ago
    Hi Bruno,

    Thanks. I think we all agree -- pls see reply to Anna Marriot's comment below.

    Cheers,

    Adam et al. 
  • Reply to: Financial incentives in health: supply- vs. demand-side. Your help is needed!   1 month 1 week ago
    Hi Gisele,

    Many thanks indeed. We will definitely read your SR. And yes pls, we'd love to have the database -- pls could you send it to Sven at sneelsen@worldbank.org

    All the best,

    Adam
  • Reply to: Being open-minded about universal basic income   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Thanks Nithin, really appreciate your insightful thoughts.

  • Reply to: Being open-minded about universal basic income   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Thank you, this is very timely and many of us look forward to thoughtful analyses of the various proposals. Will there be a chance to consider how these proposals compare to cash transfers or voucher schemes?