Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Student Research Guide: Structural Unemployment and Basic Income Policies: Home

by Natalie S.

Inroduction to the Topic

Advances in technology, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), threaten the job security of workers in the United States. One way workers are currently threatened by advances in technology is through unemployment. Unemployment due to advances in technology is called structural unemployment or technological unemployment. Occupational mismatches are one source of technological unemployment. A occupational mismatch is when a worker's skills are not the needed skills that employers want their workers to have.

The possibility of mass unemployment due to technological advances has led to many discussions about basic income proposals including universal basic income (UBI) and negative income tax (NIT). These proposals have gained more public attention due to these policies being seen as possible solutions to technological unemployment. Although many may think UBI and NIT are completely different proposals, these policies are actually very similar. UBI and NIT are both policies that would guarantee a minimum income to Americans.

Keywords for Searching The Topic

  • Structural unemployment
  • Technological unemployment
  • Universal basic income (UBI)
  • Negative income tax (NIT)
  • Labor market
  • Workforce
  • Skilled workers
  • Middle-skilled jobs
  • Occupational mismatches

Introduction to UBI

Please watch this video before you dive into your research about UBI. This video will help build your foundational knowledge about what UBI is. This video can also help people who learn better through visuals. This source is titled Universal basic income explained – Free money for everybody? and is referenced below in the "Start Your Research Here" box.

Best Databases/Search Engines

Start Your Research Here

Kurzgesagt, In a Nutshell. (2017, December 7). Universal basic income explained – Free money for everybody? UBI[Video file]. YouTube.

This video is a great introduction to the idea of a universal basic income. It covers the key arguments made for and against enacting a universal basic income. The information presented in this video is similar to the information given in other scholarly sources about UBI. This source is a great place to start to build foundational knowledge from. It is also in a visual form, which means that viewers can probably digest the information better.

Karen Yuan, C. K. (2018). Universal basic income in the U.S.? Let's debate. The Atlantic.

            This article is a great place to start building foundational knowledge about UBI. It lists the main pros and cons about UBI, which are divided into moral and logical arguments. This source also includes several UBI experiments. This source includes a passage about how Martin Luther King Jr. supported the idea of a basic income, which is something I thought was interesting.

Universal Basic Income: Should the U.S. Government Guarantee Every American a Minimum Income? (2019) Issues & Controversies.,-money,-and-business/universal-basic-income.aspx?ID=18812&wid=102912&hd=18812

This article covers many key talking points that stem from the conversation of enacting a universal basic income, or UBI. This source is useful because it helps me understand why UBI is supported and opposed. It is mainly opposed on the grounds that it will be too expensive, and it is supported because it could be the most stable safety net if enacted correctly. There is also some information on the history about the American welfare system and how UBI could possibility replace it. Negative income tax is also defined and compared to UBI in this article, which is important to know about since my topic mentions negative income tax.

Universal basic income - Top 3 pros and cons. (2018). In (Ed.), ProCon headlines, ProCon.

This website is a great way to explore the opinions about a topic before researching further. This source helps break down the main three supporting and opposing statements about UBI. The content is easy to read and is a great starting point for understanding more about the perceptions and opinions of enacting a UBI.

All Content CC-BY.