The Basic Income Lab reviews the vast interdisciplinary research produced on UBI, identifies under-explored research questions, and helps shape future directions in basic income research.

Our Mission and Purpose

The Stanford Basic Income Lab aspires to be an academic home for the study of universal basic income. It was founded in February 2017 as an initiative of the Stanford McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society. Under the leadership of Assistant Professor Juliana Bidadanure and the support and guidance of Joan Berry, Executive Director of the McCoy Family Center of Ethics in Society, the Basic Income Lab received seed funding from the Economic Security Project and the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society to create an academic home for the study and evaluation of basic income experiments.

The Basic Income Lab (BIL):

Convenes scholars, policymakers, practitioners, members of the civil society, think tanks, nonprofits, and foundations around the philosophy, politics and economics of UBI

Provides an academic home for research on UBI: its history, the values that underpin it, its potential impact on social inequalities and poverty, and the economics around the proposal

Gathers information from experimenters on the challenges faced in establishing UBI pilots and develops recommendations and best practices in basic income experimentation

Why Basic Income?

As automation, growing inequalities, persistent poverty, social precariousness and structural unemployment threaten economic security both in the United States and around the world, many policymakers, practitioners, academics and policymakers have begun to consider Universal Basic Income (UBI) to address these issues.

Within this context, there is an increasing need for in-depth academic research on how to design, implement and evaluate UBI; on what UBI’s potential impacts could be; and, on how it could be turned into an economically and politically feasible program.

Why Here?

Increasingly in the United States, many express their support for Universal Basic Income. In 2016, Robert B. Reich, Andrew Stern and Martin Ford all wrote books proposing UBI as a necessary tool in an increasingly unequal and automated economy.

Stanford University offers a unique set of interdisciplinary opportunities to further enhance the study of this proposal. Nestled in the heart of the bay area, the Lab benefits from access to experts across disciplines to develop and improve UBI research.

The time is ripe for an independent initiative that serves to:

Convene scholars, policy makers, business leaders, think tanks, nonprofits, and foundations around the politics and economics of UBI
Inform those developing UBI policies and carrying out experiments
Aggregate and disseminate research findings
Stimulate research on UBI


The Basic Income Lab receives the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Jain Family Institute, the Economic Security Project, and the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society.

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