Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Alan Krueger / Why is Universal Basic Income So Controversial? – Discussion Seminar

The Wesson Discussion Seminar is intended to be a response to the Wesson Lecture delivered by Alan Krueger on Wednesday, March 13.

Discussion Seminar Commentators

JAMES FERGUSON is the Susan S. and William H. Hindle Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor in the Department of Anthropology. His research has focused on southern Africa and has engaged a broad range of theoretical and ethnographic issues. These include the politics of “development,” rural-urban migration, changing topographies of property and wealth, constructions of space and place, urban culture in mining towns, experiences of modernity, the spatialization of states, the place of “Africa” in a real and imagined world, and the theory and politics of ethnography. Running through much of this work is a concern with how discourses organized around concepts such as “development” and “modernity” intersect the lives of ordinary people.

PASCALINE DUPAS is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Her research aims to understand the barriers that households and governments face in accumulating or fostering accumulation of health and education, and how these barriers can be overcome. She conducts extensive fieldwork — field experiments embedded in longitudinal data collection efforts, which are used to perform empirical tests of microeconomic theory and to quantify the effects of potential policies. Health is the primary focus of Dupas’ research to date. Her work covers the role of information and education in health behavior, and the role of subsidies in increasing adoption of health technologies.

STACIA MARTIN-WEST is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. She is the co-PI of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, the first modern, city-led guaranteed-income experiment in the United States. Her research focuses on UBI, unconditional cash transfers, women’s poverty and wealth inequality, and the affordable housing crisis. She recently completed the first evaluation of unconditional cash transfers in the context of environmental and economic disaster.

ALAN KRUEGER (Wesson lecturer) is the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and has published widely on the economics of education, unemployment, labor demand, income distribution, social insurance, labor-market regulation, terrorism and environmental economics. He is the author of “What Makes A Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism” and “Education Matters: A Selection of Essays on Education, co-author of Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage,” and co-author of “Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?”


  • Pascaline Dupas
  • James Ferguson
  • Alan Krueger
  • Stacia Martin-West

Event Sponsor: McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, Basic Income Lab

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