The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Matias Vernengo, Esteban Perez Caldentey, Barkley J. Rosser Jr

Job Guarantee

Living reference work entry


’Job Guarantee’ (JG) has become the favoured term applied to a variety of approaches that seek to ensure what can be described as true full employment. This entry focuses on the most ambitious and inclusive approach, in which the national government stands ready to offer paid work at a living wage to anyone who wants a job. As such, it would be consistent with promoting several of the internationally recognized human rights, including the right to a job, the right to income, and the right to full participation in society. The purported advantages of the JG program include full employment (in the sense that anyone ready and willing to work is able to obtain employment at the program wage), skills enhancement (training on the job) to prepare workers for jobs in the private sector, creation of an effective wage floor (since other employers would have to at least match the program’s pay), and strong counter-cyclical government spending (spending on wages rises in recession and falls in recovery). The entry examines other economic benefits and potential drawbacks, various critiques that have been raised, and a simulation of the economic effects of such a program if it were implemented in the USA.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Levy Economics InstituteAnnandale-on-HudsonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Matías Vernengo
    • 1
  1. 1.Bucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA