California trials basic income, other 14 pilots are in sight

The Policy Nerd

Jul 15 2021 • 45 mins

This is a 3-part podcast on the Californian guaranteed income experiment. It goes deep into the trial, probing it from all angles and extracting lessons for the rest.

The experts are Stacia West and Amy Castro Baker. Their expertise is in basic income, unconditional cash transfers, women’s poverty, and wealth inequality. They are the independent co-evaluators of the guaranteed income trial in Stockton, California. Their roles and the data these evaluators bring are key to this discussion.

The hosts are UNESCO’s John Crowley and Iulia Sevciuc.

PART 1: Trial

This part is concerned with the Californian pilot itself. It delves into its design, results, and performance before and (importantly) in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

PART 2: Financing

Financing is key to any talk on basic income. This part looks into how the Californian trial and the upcoming 14 US pilots are financed. Importantly, it debates how traditional (e.g., oil and natural resource-derived funding, reallocation of existing funds) and innovative (e.g., carbon price-and-dividend, data-driven funding, dividends from marketing socially-owned data) sources could be combined to finance longer-term and to-scale basic income schemes.

PART3: Data and policy

The key concern of the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab is connecting knowledge and data to policy on the ground. This part flags what we know, what we lack in data, and what deserves increased attention in policy debates on basic income.