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Why basic income's emancipatory value exceeds its monetary value

Standing, Guy (2015) 'Why basic income's emancipatory value exceeds its monetary value.' Basic Income Studies, 10 (2). pp. 193-223.

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This article argues that the emancipatory value of a basic income is greater than its monetary value, drawing on the results of a large-scale basic income scheme conducted in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh between 2010 and 2013. The scheme was evaluated by comparing households in villages where everyone received a small cash payment each month with households in similar villages where no one did. The evaluation results showed much stronger than anticipated benefits of a very modest basic income, equivalent to about a third of subsistence. It is argued here that this arises because cash payments alleviate the contrived scarcity of money itself, a cause of chronic indebtedness and impoverishment. Using data and illustrative case studies on debt, savings and financial inclusion, the article demonstrates how a basic income improves economic security beyond its monetary value, which can be termed its emancipatory value. It further concludes that a basic income would have an emancipatory effect for the growing precariat around the world.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: basic income, poverty, India
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISSN: 19320183
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1515/bis-2015-0021
Depositing User: Guy Standing
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2016 14:20
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/23032


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