Minimum Basic Income, the Legacy Fund, and North Dakota

I receive many call on the radio complaining about support payments, stimulus payments, unemployment insurance, and pretty much anything else that is similar. The overarching theme behind the complaints is such systems reduce the incentive to work. I also get many calls about what North Dakota should be doing with the Legacy Fund instead of letting it accrue. So I thought we could combine the two briefly.

The different uses for the Legacy Fund are a political/policy matter and I do not have so much to contribute on that front. Of interest is a combination of the two and for that we can look at the work of Damon Jones (Univ. of Chicago) and Ioana Marinescu (U Penn). They researched employment effects of the Alaska Permanent Fund and found that the payments made to Alaska citizens did not discourage employment.

Why would that be? Well if you get this money no matter what, and then can keep anything else you make (less taxes of course) where is the lack of incentive to go do more work? The answer is this is not a disincentive to work, it actually encourages risk taking and working and is potentially good for the economy overall. Just something to consider for the radio callers.

If you do not want to give people money, say that, but to suggest it will discourage effort and employment seems pretty unlikely.

Jones, Damon and Marinescu, Ioana, "The Labor Market Impacts of Universal and Permanent Cash Transfers:  Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund", NBER Working Paper, 24312

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