BIGA's online publications

Basic Income Guarantee Australia (BIGA) has assembled a wide selection of academic papers relating to Basic Income, the Ethics of Basic Income, the Economics of Basic Income and Disability and Basic Income.

Associated topics relating to Basic Income, include Unemployment and the Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the Australian Welfare State.

You can browse BIGA's publications by Author here for most of BIGA's on-line articles on the Basic Income debate.

Many early artricles on the Basic Income debate may be viewed here at Browse Historical Items or visit our BIGA Historical Items section above.

New bepress Journal : Basic Income Studies Inaugral Issue Linked to another web site

The Berkeley Electronic Press, together with editors Rafael Pinilla-Pallejà (Ministry of Public Affairs, Spain), Jurgen De Wispelaere (Trinity College Dublin), and Karl Widerquist (University of Oxford), is very pleased to announce the launch of Basic Income Studies, the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to basic income and related issues of poverty relief and universal welfare. An exciting new venture supported by major international networks of scholars, policy makers, and activists, Basic Income Studies is the only forum for scholarly research on this leading edge movement in contemporary social policy. Articles discuss the design and implementation of basic income schemes, and address the theory and practice of universal welfare in clear, non-technical language that engages the wider policy community.

Basic Income Studies benefits from an editorial board at the forefront of research in poverty and employment, welfare reform, political theory, political economy, and public policy. Editors come from leading universities and government agencies worldwide, including the University of Amsterdam, University of Oxford, Columbia University, the University of Buenos Aires, UCLA, the London School of Economics, the Catholic University of Louvain, Harvard University, and Trinity College Dublin.

Basic Income Studies launches its inaugural issue with a retrospective on "A Capitalist Road to Communism," the article that put basic income firmly on the map in academic and policy circles when it was first published in 1986. The original article is reprinted with a set of six new comments and a specially written reply by the authors, Robert van der Veen and Philippe Van Parijs.

A number of academic authors have provided BIGA with their bibliographies and reading lists on Basic Income and related topics. Michael Goldsmith - University of Waikato (PDF, 96KB).

Dr John Tomlinson’s E-book Income Insecurity: The Basic Income Alternative is available as a downloadable full text document, separated into chapters.

A number of Academic Theses on Basic Income may be downloaded in convenient chapter sections. For example 'Income Maintenance in Australia: The Income Guarantee Alternative'.

Keith Rankin’s refereed papers on Universal Basic Income Linked to another web site and other unpublished reports of interest.

Another page reached from here has Papers of Historical Interest that relate to Basic Income and general Articles of Interest.

The USBIG (US Basic Income Guarantee) Website now carry many important new Basic Income Publications, many also provided from BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network) The Publications sections may be reached for USBIG Linked to another web site direct and for BIEN. Linked to another web site For example a special issue of Rutgers Journal of Law and Public policy Linked to another web site may be found here and at the journal's website . The papers therein are historic in that they comprise the first international scholarly exchange between proponents of Basic Income and the Employment Guarantee. Several Australian authors are featured.

On Basic Income

A selected collection of academic papers on Basic Income and associated subjects may be downloaded from this page:

On the Ethics of Basic Income

  • How Dare We? (PDF, 67KB) John Tomlinson
    9th National Conference on Unemployment 2002, Centre for Full Employment and Equity, University of Newcastle
    Abstract Australia has experienced almost continuous economic growth throughout the three terms of the Howard Government, yet it has only succeeded in decreasing the officially recognised unemployment level by two percentage points. This Government has attempted to decrease the level of unemployment by continuing to rely on economic growth, imposing labour market flexibility, watering down unfair dismissal legislation and discouraging unemployed people from applying for benefit. The main tactic, which this Government has utilised in ‘solving’ the unemployment problem, is to attack the social reputation of unemployed people. This paper considers the ethical justifications provided by the Howard Government for the manner in which it handles the unemployment problem.

    This paper will conclude by briefly discussing an alternative to the Howard Government’s unemployment policy; namely the Government becoming an employer of last resort in association with the provision of a Universal Basic Income.
  • Income Support for Unemployed People: Human Rights versus Utilitarian Rights (PDF, 86KB). John Tomlinson
    8th National Conference on Unemployment, Southern Cross University, Sept 2001 Abstract This paper considers the treatment of unemployed people’s rights and entitlements, focussing particularly on the last decade and a half. It places the debate about entitlements within the context of the historical development of the entire Australian social security income support system. It considers rights in relation to obligations from the perspectives of both Utilitarianism and universalism. It concludes that only the provision of a universal Basic Income can prevent Australian Governments undermining unemployed people’s economic security and foisting socially destructive obligations upon them.
  • There but for the grace of wealth go I (PDF, 46KB). John Tomlinson
    Dependency as well as implying looking to another person or institution for support also means "subordination or subjection; (for example) the dependence of the church upon the state" (Delbridge, et al 1987 p. 476).

On the Economics of Basic Income

  • Universal Income Support (PDF, 27KB)
    Financing Universal Income Support Free of Means Test

    This is the 5th paper in a series of 6 by Allan MCDonald published on the Oasis-Australia Site. It deals with the cost and financing of a Basic Income Scheme.

On Disability and Basic Income

In Australia, the Howard Government is undermining unemployed people’s economic security and foisting destructive obligations on them…(Tomlinson 2001)

In a paper on the effects of Breach Penalties against the unemployed, Simon Schooneveldt (2002) reported on upcoming legislative welfare changes that will adversely impact on Single Parents and People who have a Disability:

However the Howard Government intends to extend the Mutual Obligation breach penalty system beyond unemployed people. Deputy Prime Minister Anderson stated that people accepting welfare payments but not looking hard enough for work were deliberately shirking work…not the Australian way” (Parnell, 2002, p. 2). Minister Brough had announced that “all jobless up to the age of 50 will be targeted for Work for the Dole programs” and Ministers Vanstone and Abbott followed up with a Bill to extend Mutual Obligation and Activity Test requirements to include single parents with school age children and mature aged unemployed people up to retirement age (McKenna, 1999; Vanstone Abbott, 2001, p.4).

Extending the net further, Minister Vanstone proposed new policy, whereby some people who have disabilities will be removed from Disability Support Pension eligibility, and have their payments cut by $26 per week by being placed on theNew Start unemployment program. Such people will be obliged to job search, and meet the activity test requirements, subject to breach penalties, mandated under Mutual Obligation (Lawrence, 2002). Since July 2002, Centrelink can suspend all payments totally, with power to subsequently restore them (or not restore them), from people judged to be “at risk” of not meeting Departmental requirements. Such payment suspension will oblige people to come into Centrelink offices to “face additional scrutiny” in tough new face-to-face psychological assessments designed to ensure that “a robust mutual obligation system still exists (Centrelink, 2002; Vanstone, 2002a, pp. 2-4).

The full paper may be accessed here: Do Centrelink Activity Breach penalties coerce outcomes from unemployed welfare recipients in line with Mutual Obligation Policy? (PDF, 95KB)

Contact BIGA

Phone: 07 3138 4612
From overseas: + 61 7 3138 4612
Fax: 07 3138 0296
From overseas: + 61 7 3138 0296

Email: or directly contact BIGA’s web site administrator Greg Marston.