Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Economics, PhD




Economics Department

Faculty Advisor

Jonathan Haughton


The objective of this dissertation is to estimate whether a "full" Universal Basic Income (FUBI), within or without a single-payer Universal Health Care (UHC) system, would be both sufficient to eliminate income poverty and affordable without increasing federal borrowing or decreasing federal discretionary spending in the United States.

In Chapter 1, I elaborate on the components and benefits of a FUBI. In Chapters 2 and 3, I present the results from a static, behavioral, partial-equilibrium, micro-simulation model that analyzes household responses to changes in mandatory spending, sources of tax revenues, and tax expenditures. These changes include introducing a FUBI in Chapters 2 and 3 and a single-payer UHC system in Chapter 3.

The dataset is merger of the IRS Public Use Tax File, the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) for 2009. To finance the FUBI in Chapters 2 and 3, I repealed several federal cash income-transfer programs and individual tax expenditures. I also increased the federal individual income tax rates for each of the existing brackets to compensate for the remaining tax revenue deficit. To finance the UHC in Chapter 3, I reintroduce payroll taxes but without a wage base.

The measure of wellbeing for this analysis was the Bureau of Economic Analysis' Disposable Personal Income (DPI). The measures of poverty were the United States Census Bureau's pre-tax Official Poverty Measure (OPM) and post-tax Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). To test the sensitivity of these estimates, I utilized the elasticity of “broad” income (EBI) to simulate household responses to the resulting increases in effective marginal tax rates (EMTRs).




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