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Universal Basic Income and Negative Income Tax: Two Different Ways of Thinking Redistribution

Davide, Tondani (2007): Universal Basic Income and Negative Income Tax: Two Different Ways of Thinking Redistribution.

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Abstract

This article examines two redistributive programs: Negative Income Tax and Universal Basic Income. Its aim is to show that, even if the two programs – through the implementation of an appropriate tax-benefit system – can get the same distributive outcome, they are deeply different both from an economic point of view and an ethic perspective. The approach adopted integrates positive and normative analysis so that an explicit attention to ethical issues can provide a more complete descriptive economics. We show that Negative Income Tax scheme is consistent with the libertarian idea of distributive justice, while Basic Income matches with the egalitarian thought.

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