Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type



Moore School of Business

Director of Thesis

Dr. Christian Jensen

First Reader

Dr. Jason DeBacker

Second Reader

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.

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© 2023, Chase H Dorn