Guaranteed Income

The nature of work is changing, and in an era of widening inequality, legacy social safety net programs are inadequate and inefficient. Our society has the resources to raise the standard of living for all people, and the responsibility to find the most just and efficient means. Guaranteed income is a promising option, and JFI is building multiple pilots across the US to generate reliable evidence to support analysis of this and the broader suite of related policies.


The social, psychological and economic effects of unconditional cash in the developed world have been difficult to predict and observe; data is integral to informing and facilitating new policies. JFI conducts a wide range of research on guaranteed income and related policies and theories. Along with producing original research papers, literature reviews, and general-interest articles and posts, we investigate the effects of cash transfers and improving guaranteed income policy—from generating macroeconomic models to better anticipate the economic effects of various guaranteed income programs, to evaluating and applying metrics and methods used in related fields.


As interest grows in understanding the effects and feasibility of guaranteed income, there is an increasing need to test it in the real world. JFI evaluates and hires project leads and investigators; assembles academic advisory boards, develops study design, generates and tests sampling methods, and other research instruments; and build connections with expert advisors in social science, economics, and policy. We work with other non-profits, research institutions, cities and municipalities on every stage of guaranteed income pilot design.

Unifying the Field

To adequately study guaranteed income requires combining research from multiple disciplinary approaches; to take maximum advantage of the information offered by multiple studies, however, requires strategic and systematic thinking about their design. By using a common set of tools and metrics, researchers can ensure that their studies contribute to an ever-growing database that can inform and expand the field. JFI is working with partners to develop a set of standards that make this possible, convening teams from across the world working on cash transfer pilots and studies.

Partners and Collaborators

Columbia SIPA
Economic Security Project
Economic Security for Illinois
Stanford Basic Income Lab
Russell Sage Foundation