Universal Basic Income: A Five Year Breakdown of its Cost Across the United States

Author(s)

Keegan Negron

Faculty Mentor(s)

Yvonne Chueh (Actuarial Science)

Abstract

In the wake of the economic upheaval caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic, numerous Americans have received stimulus checks and unemployment benefits from the government. These act as a safety net to prevent those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic from entering into poverty. Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a policy that similarly has been proposed as a more permanent safety net and a potential solution to help people out of poverty. Currently the US government provides welfare, food stamps and public transportation to help those who are currently impoverished. Universal Basic Income could take the place of these as an expanded form of government aid. It has been proposed at set levels of anywhere from $1000 to $6000 a month for every citizen above the age of 18 without any distinction of where the recipient lives in the United States. This article will discuss and evaluate the cost of Universal Basic Income in the lens of cost of living and inflation throughout the US. A model will be created by using the average cost of living and population as the cost determination in each county and parish in the United States, as well the District of Columbia. Using the cost of living from each county, a cumulative cost of UBI currently will be created and the average cost per capita reported. Another model to project the cost of UBI 5 years into the future will be created by analyzing projected inflation.

Keywords: UNIVERSAL-BASIC-INCOME, COST, ECONOMICS

Presentation

3 thoughts on “Universal Basic Income: A Five Year Breakdown of its Cost Across the United States”

  1. Interesting stuff Keegan! Is there any other methodology that could be used to draw conclusions that you chose not to include because it was not feasible given the data you had access to?

  2. Jean Marie Linhart

    Why did you choose the average cost of living as your per capita UBI cost, rather than a lesser amount? UBI is meant to help prevent people from living in poverty, and so that seems like a high amount to use. What ideas do you have to take cost of living into account while keeping UBI at a level to lift people out of poverty without bringing everyone to the average cost of living? Or can you explain why you think the average cost of living is the correct amount to provide in UBI?

  3. Jean Marie Linhart

    Good job, Keegan. Why did you choose the average cost of living as your per capita UBI cost, rather than a lesser amount? UBI is meant to help prevent people from living in poverty, and so that seems like a high amount to use. What ideas do you have to take cost of living into account while keeping UBI at a level to lift people out of poverty without bringing everyone to the average cost of living? Or can you explain why you think the average cost of living is the correct amount to provide in UBI?

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