What if States implement guaranteed income programs? Jolley Examines the Impacts of UBI Pilot Programs on State Economies

Soomi Lee (Blog Editor)

Basic income pilot programs have garnered attention, with initiatives like the SEED program in Stockton leading the way. These programs, often studying the effects on individuals’ financial and mental wellbeing, have provided us with the potential benefits of guaranteed income. However, their impact on local economies has been somewhat constrained due to their relatively small scale.

Jason Jolley, an economist from Ohio University’s Voinovich School, takes a novel approach in his paper, “Basic Income: a 50-state economic impact analysis.” Jolley’s research breaks away from the confines of small-scale pilot programs and ventures into assessing the impact of a SEED-like program on state economies using input-output analysis.

In simple terms, Jolley applies the SEED pilot model to state economies, seeking to understand how a $500 monthly guaranteed income program could influence economies on a larger scale. The focus is not just on individual wellbeing but on the potential macroeconomic shifts that could occur.

His results show varied impacts across states, ranging from modest to substantial. This study marks a significant milestone as the first of its kind, using analytical tools to gauge the impact of guaranteed income for low-income groups. It paves the way for a deeper understanding of the broader economic implications of guaranteed income.

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