Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-jbqgn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-25T12:09:16.615Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

A defence of participation income

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2015

Cristian Pérez-Muñoz*
Institute of Political Science, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile E-mail:


This article offers a novel defence of participation income (PI). It claims that there are pragmatic and normative reasons to prefer PI over alternative redistributive policies, such as an unconditional basic income and workfare programmes. In particular, it argues that PI should be conceived as a particular type of civic service programme designed to address a large number of unmet social needs that are not met by entrepreneurs in the marketplace. The article ends by addressing five objections that can be raised against its argument.

Research Article
© Cambridge University Press, 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Atkinson, A. B. (1995a) Beveridge, the National Minimum and Its Future in a European Context. In Atkinson. A. B. (ed.), Incomes and the Welfare State: Essays on Britain and Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 290304.Google Scholar
Atkinson, A. B. (1995b) Public Economics in Action: The Basic Income/flat Tax Proposal. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Atkinson, A. B. (1996) The Case for a Participation Income. The Political Quarterly 67(1): 6770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baldwin, R., Cave, M. and Lodge, M. (2012) Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy, and Practice. Second Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Barber, B. R. (2003) Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Barry, B. (1996) Real Freedom and Basic Income. Journal of Political Philosophy 4(3): 242276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bass, M. (2013) The Politics and Civics of National Service: Lessons from the Civilian Conservation Corps, Vista, and AmeriCorps. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Birnbaum, S. (2012) Basic Income Reconsidered: Social Justice, Liberalism, and the Demands of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyte, H. (2011) Public Work and the Politics of the Commons. The Good Society 20(1): 84101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Colombino, U., Locatelli, M., Narazani, E. and O’Donoghue, C. (2010) Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise with a Microeconometric Model. Basic Income Studies 5(1): 131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dagger, R. (2005) A Duty to Serve? Responsibility, Reciprocity and the Paradox of Civic Service. Public Policy Research 12(1): 1521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Beus, J. (2013) The Stability of Basic Income. In Widerquist K., Noguera J. A., Vanderborght Y. and De Wispelaere J. (eds.), Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research. New York: Wiley/Blackwell, 331338.Google Scholar
De Wispelaere, J. and Stirton, L. (2007) The Public Administration Case against Participation Income. Social Service Review 81(3): 523549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dionne, E. J., Drogosz, K. M. and Litan, R. E. (2003) United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Diver, C. (1983) The Optimal Precision of Administrative Rules. Yale Law Journal 93(1): 65109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eberly, D. J. and Sherraden, M. (1990) The Moral Equivalent of War?: A Study of Non-Military Service in 9 Nations. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
Elster, J. (1986) Comment on van Der Veen and Van Parijs. Theory and Society 15(5): 709721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evers, W. M. (1990) National Service: Pro & Con. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press.Google Scholar
Fabre, C. (2006) Whose Body Is It Anyway?: Justice and the Integrity of the Person. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fiszbein, A., Schady, N. R. and Ferreira, F. H. G. (2009) Conditional Cash Transfers: Reducing Present and Future Poverty. Washington DC: World Bank Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frumkin, P. and Jastrzab, J. (2010) Serving Country and Community: Who Benefits from National Service? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fung, A. (2003) Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Goodin, R. (2003) Sneaking up on Stakeholding. In Dowding K., De Wispelaere J. and White S. (eds.), The Ethics of Stakeholding. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 6578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gorham, E. B. (1992) National Service, Citizenship, and Political Education. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Grant, R. (2011) Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Gutmann, A. and Thompson, D. F. (1996) Democracy and Disagreement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Hansson, S. and Helgesson, G. (2003) What Is Stability? Synthese 136(2): 219235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, W. (1926) The Moral Equivalent of War. Int’l Conciliation 11: 487.Google Scholar
Little, A. (2004) Post-Industrial Socialism: Towards a New Politics of Welfare. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maskivker, J. (2012) Self-Realization and Justice: A Liberal-Perfectionist Defense of the Right to Freedom from Employment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
McBride, A., Benítez, C. and Sherraden, M. (2003) The forms and nature of civic service: A global assessment. Research report. St. Louis: Center for Social Development, Washington University.Google Scholar
McBride, A. M. and Sherraden, M. (2007) Civic Service Worldwide: Impacts and Inquiry. Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.Google Scholar
McBride, A., Sherraden, M., Lombe, M. and Tang, F. (2007) Building Knowledge on Civic Service Worldwide. In McBride A. M. and Michael S. (eds.), Civic Service Worldwide: Impacts and Inquiry. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 316.Google Scholar
McBride, A. M., Sherraden, M. and Menon, N. (2007) Directions in Civic Service Scholarship. In McBride A. M. and Sherraden M. (eds.), Civic Service Worldwide: Impacts and Inquiry. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 238254.Google Scholar
Midtgaard, S. F. (2008) Rawlsian Stability and Basic Income. Basic Income Studies 3(2): 117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moskos, C. C. (1988) A Call to Civic Service: National Service for Country and Community. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Pateman, C. (2004) Democratizing Citizenship: Some Advantages of a Basic Income. Politics & Society 32(1): 89105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pérez-Muñoz, C. (2015) The Problem of Stability and the Ethos-Based Solution. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, doi:10.1080/13698230.2014.949602.Google Scholar
Perry, J. L. and Thomson, A. M. (2004) Civic Service: What Difference Does It Make? Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.Google Scholar
Perry, J. L. and Thomson, A. M. (2007) The Effects of National Service in the United States. In McBride A. M. and Michael S. (eds.), Civic Service Worldwide: Impacts and Inquiry. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 7493.Google Scholar
Raventos, D. (2007) Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
Rios, J. and Rios Insua, D. (2007) A Framework for Participatory Budget Elaboration Support. Journal of the Operational Research Society 59(2): 203212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, H., Voigt, K. and Wikler, D. (2010) Carrots, Sticks, and Health Care Reform Problems with Wellness Incentives. New England Journal of Medicine 362(2): e3(1)e3(3).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sherraden, M. (2001) “Youth Service as Strong Policy.” Youth Service Country Study, prepared for The Ford Foundation. St. Louis, MO: Center for Social Development, Global Service Institute, Washington University. Google Scholar
Souza, C. (2001) Participatory Budgeting in Brazilian Cities: Limits and Possibilities in Building Democratic Institutions. Environment and Urbanization 13(1): 159184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Standing, G. (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.Google Scholar
Vanderborght, Y. (2012) Basic Income, Social Justice and Poverty. In Sciurba A. (ed.), Redefining and Combating Poverty. Human Rights, Democracy and Common Goods in Today’s Europe. Trends in Social Cohesion No. 25. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 267283.Google Scholar
Vanderborght, Y. and Van Parijs, P. (2001) Assurance Participation et Revenu de Participation. Reflets et perspectives de la vie economique XL(1–2): 183196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van der Veen, R. and Groot, L. (2000) How Attractive Is a Basic Income for European Welfare States?. In Van der Veen R. and Groot L. (eds.), Basic Income on the Agenda. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Donselaar, G. (2008) The Right to Exploit: Parasitism, Scarcity, and Basic Income. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Van Parijs, P. (1995) Real Freedom for All: What (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism?. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Van Parijs, P. (2004) Basic Income: A Simple and Powerful Idea for the Twenty-First Century. Politics & Society 32(1): 739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walzer, M. (1983) Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Walzer, M. (1988) Socializing the Welfare State. In Gutmann A. (ed.), Democracy and the Welfare State. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1326.Google Scholar
Wampler, B. (2007) Participatory Budgeting in Brazil: Contestation, Cooperation, and Accountability. University Park, PA: Penn State Press.Google Scholar
Watts, M. (2002) Basic Income: A Review of the Issues. New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations 27(1): 119133.Google Scholar
White, S. (2003a) Fair Reciprocity and Basic Income. In Reeves A. and Williams A. (eds.), Real Libertarianism Assessed. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 136160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, S. (2003b) The Civic Minimum: On the Rights and Obligations of Economic Citizenship. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, S. (2004) The Citizen’s Stake and Paternalism. Politics & Society 32(1): 6178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Widerquist, K. (2013) Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zelleke, A. (2005) Basic Income in the United States: Redefining Citizenship in the Liberal State. Review of Social Economy 63(4): 633648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar