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Canadian economists on basic income pilot

On 15 January from 8-9pm EST, four Canadian economists, Stephen Gordon (Laval), Kevin Milligan (UBC), Mike Moffatt (Ivey) and Lindsay Tedds (Victoria) discussed the advantages, disadvantages, tradeoffs and other aspects of a potential basic income pilot in Canada. Hashtag was #bispilot.


  1. We started by looking at the advantages of basic income relative to existing social assistance programs.
  2. Much of public policy is weighing the tradeoffs involved in a given policy intervention. Our economists largely agreed on the tension between three points for basic income.
  3. Several of the existing income support programs at the federal level are similar to a basic income, but targeted at non-working age populations like seniors or children.
  4. Which brought us to the heart of the matter: the potential cost of basic income. Our economists tend to favour an incremental approach that increases the benefit level slowly over time.