Basic Income Guarantee: the gender impact within households

Sara Cantillon, Caitlin McLean

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Abstract

The potential of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) to contribute to gender equality is a contested issue amongst feminist scholars. This article focuses on the nature of BIG as an individually- based payment to explore its potential for reducing gender equality, specifically intra-household inequalities in material or financial welfare; economic autonomy; psychological well-being; and time allocation, especially leisure time and time spent in household and care work. We employ a gender analysis of existing BIG pilots/schemes as well as close substitutes (e.g., universal child benefits) to assess some of the key claims about the effects of a basic income (BI) on gendered inequality. We also present findings from empirical work on intra-household allocation and decision-making which underscore the role of independent income. The article finds some support for BIG as a feminist proposal with respect to mitigating intra-household inequality, but concludes that further empirical research is needed to argue persuasively for BIG as an instrument for furthering gender equality.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalJournal of Sociology and Social Welfare
Volume43
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • gender equality
  • Basic Income Guarantee
  • financial welfare

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