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Podcast: Talk Policy To Me

Episode 207: UBI, part 1

How Universal Basic Income could decrease the stigma of social safety nets

Professor of Economics Hilary Hoynes and UC Berkeley MPP Student ‘20 Sarah Edwards probe whether work is a solid foundation on which to build the welfare of American society. Can and should income from working really provide a stable base for all Americans? And can more universal coverage social safety nets for non-working adults alleviate the stigma of government support?

While welfare reform of the 1990s resulted in spotty coverage from the coupling of assistance and working, the universality of UBI could be an attractive counterproposal to extend coverage to those without it and reduce the stigma of government support. But untargeted programs risk becoming prohibitively expensive or overstretched.

In this episode of Talk Policy to Me, find out why loosening the bind between working and government support opens a new space where new possibilities for policy solutions can come forward.

Tune in to next week’s episode on the specifics of one experiment in Stockton, California.

Speakers featured on this epsiode

Hilary Hoynes is a Professor of Public Policy and Economics and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at the University of California Berkeley where she also co-directs the Berkeley Opportunity Lab. She is a member of the American Academy of Art and Sciences and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. She has served as Co-Editor of the American Economic Review and the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and is on the editorial board of the American Economic Review: Insights.

Her research focuses on poverty, inequality, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. Current projects include evaluating the effects of access to the social safety net in early life on later life health and human capital outcomes, examining the effects of the Great Recession on poverty, and the role of the safety net in mitigating income losses.