Date of Award
Moore School of Business
Director of Thesis
Dr. Christian Jensen
Dr. Jason DeBacker
The objective of this thesis is to explore whether a universal basic income paid to all United States citizens is both economically possible and advantageous. A recent surge in popularity of the idea has led to a plethora of universal basic income experiments that have been or are being performed across the world, however there has yet to be a UBI implemented on a national level. Using data from these experiments and existing academic research into the policy, the first part of the thesis details the necessary components of a UBI, documents the history of the idea, notes the justifications for implementing the policy, and addresses related criticisms.
The second part of the thesis calculates a ballpark cost estimate of an aggressive universal basic income that would eliminate poverty almost completely. It utilizes a simplified method employed in earlier academic research as a basis for the cost equation before exploring five different hypothetical methods of funding such a program: repurposing of redundant welfare budgets, a value-added tax, wealth tax, corporate tax, and carbon tax. Using aggressive cost estimates and conservative funding estimates, the rudimentary calculation methods determine a UBI to be feasible for the United States. This thesis is intended to deconstruct the utopian and far-fetched label that UBI often receives, showing that considering this policy to be realistic is not quite as naïve as some might think.
Dorn, Chase H., "Free Money: The Feasibility of Implementing a Universal Basic Income in the United States" (2023). Senior Theses. 587.