The Public Interest

The Welfare Brief

John Bishop

Fall 1978

THE idea that government should guarantee every citizen a minimum level of cash income without strings attached has enjoyed some popularity for more than a decade. A great deal of research on the consequences of such a guarantee has been stimulated by this policy discussion. Two important findings of this research are that, if set at a reasonable level, such a guarantee would promote significant reductions in labor supply and would not stabilize marriages as has been claimed (and, if administered as a welfare program, it might destabilize them).

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