Funded on September 1, 2022

In 2021, Darrick Hamilton and colleagues issued a major paper, A Guaranteed Income for the 21st Century, defining a cash transfer program through tax reform designed to end poverty in the United States. The paper is underpinned by a framework of Inclusive Economic Rights, a set of theories on fundamental human rights which argues that all people should be provided with a publicly guaranteed baseline set of goods and services that allow for self-determination, autonomy, health, well-being, and economic agency. The framework stresses that these resources should be provided through policies, practices, structures, and strategies that are comprehensively and purposefully inclusive in design and implementation.  

Building upon previous work that examines and documents the enabling health, economic, and overall well-being enhancing aspects associated with better-resourced people and families, this project will answer the following: 

  1. What are we learning about designing and achieving a scalable guaranteed income policy from the proliferation of local guaranteed income pilot projects and their evaluations? 

  2. What are the impacts of cash transfer programs on the health, economic well-being, and political participation of families, and how do these impacts vary by race and ethnicity, gender, and other demographics? 

  3. How do deeply embedded narratives about race, poverty, and deservedness shape the politics of guaranteed income, and how can they be shifted to enable a durable nationwide policy?   

The project aims to provide research that can be used by practitioners and researchers alike to understand, discuss, formulate, adjust, evaluate, communicate about, and scale cash transfer and guaranteed income programs and promote transformational progress toward economic inclusion, social equity, and civic engagement. 

Partner organizations: 

Economic Security Project 

Liberation in a Generation 


Related Evidence

  • Published April 5, 2024

    Researchers at the New School propose a new nationwide direct cash payments program that would automatically kick in when economic indicators point to a recession and phase out when the national unemployment rate begins to decline.

    View Evidence