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Evaluating Guaranteed Income Projects

Perspectives on Opportunity

March 19, 2024


Local lawmakers are currently piloting their desired next nationwide expansion of the welfare state. Dozens of guaranteed income pilots are running across the country at the local and state level, sometimes funded by COVID-19 relief funds, to encourage federal policymakers to implement cash grants without work requirements, restrictions, or conditions. These guaranteed income pilots are a precursor to these policymakers’ ultimate goal: establishing a universal basic income, an extraordinarily expensive proposal that can lead to less work, particularly among low-income recipients. When considering these initiatives, policymakers should ensure that the primary long-term outcomes are more work attachment and hours worked, less safety-net dependence, and better overall outcomes for children, including improving children’s likelihood of being raised in a married household.