BIG Experiments of the 1970s and the Public Reaction to Them

  • Karl WiderquistEmail author
Part of the Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee book series (BIG)


This chapter discusses the five Negative Income Tax experiments conducted in the 1970s in the United States and Canada, summarizes their findings, and shows how badly they were misunderstood at the time. It argues that although the experiments succeeded in the scientific goal of obtaining useful data, they badly failed in the goal of improving public understanding of the issue. This experience provides extremely important lessons for the current round of basic income experiments.


SIME/DIME Income maintenance experiments Mincome Basic income experiments Negative Income Tax experiments Social science experiments Basic income Universal Basic Income Inequality Poverty 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown University in QatarDohaQatar

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