Basic Income Lab
The Stanford Basic Income Lab (BIL) was founded by Philosophy Professor Juliana Bidadanure in 2017 and housed at the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society to study the politics, economics, and philosophy of universal basic income (UBI) and related policies. At the time, interest was picking up in UBI as a tool to address technological unemployment. Bidadanure saw an opportunity to promote an informed public conversation on unconditional cash's potential to foster a more equitable society by addressing persistent poverty, growing inequalities, and racial and gender injustices. BIL grew as a research initiative of the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society to become an academic hub for basic income studies.
Under Bidadanure's leadership, BIL promoted and guided a growing wave of basic income pilots throughout the country. BIL designed online platforms, maps, and dashboards to track basic income data; convened dozens of events with academics, practitioners, policymakers, and community organizers; and published toolkits, white papers, and reports to equip practitioners with lessons learned and best practices. Bidadanure placed ethics at the center of her vision, supporting research about basic income’s multifaceted connections with racial and gender justice, dignity, trust, and equity.
In 2023, BIL joined the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI) led by Professor David Grusky. Bidadanure moved to New York University and Sean Kline, who has co-directed the Lab since 2021, assumed leadership of BIL. BIL continues to equip the field with insights and benefits from CPI’s broad mission to monitor trends, support scientific analysis, develop evidence-based policy, and disseminate research on poverty and inequality.
For inquiries about the Basic Income Lab, email basicincomelab [at] stanford.edu (basicincomelab[at]stanford[dot]edu).