Guaranteed Income Research Hub

The Policies for Action Research Hub at the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School investigates direct income support and cash transfer policies as an economic right and a medium through which policymakers can abolish poverty in the United States. The Institute is undertaking this project in partnership with the Economic Security Project, PolicyLink, and Liberation in a Generation.

Building upon previous work that examines and documents the enabling health, economic, and overall well-being enhancing aspects associated with better-resourced people and families, this project will answer the following: 

  1. What are we learning about designing and achieving a scalable guaranteed income policy from the proliferation of local guaranteed income pilot projects and their evaluations? 
  2. What are the impacts of cash transfer programs on the health, economic well-being, and political participation of families, and how do these impacts vary by race and ethnicity, gender, and other demographics? 
  3. How do deeply embedded narratives about race, poverty, and deservedness shape the politics of guaranteed income, and how can they be shifted to enable a durable nationwide policy?   

The project aims to provide research that can be used by practitioners and researchers alike to understand, discuss, formulate, adjust, evaluate, communicate about, and scale cash transfer and guaranteed income programs and promote transformational progress toward economic inclusion, social equity, and civic engagement.


Direct Cash Payments in the Next Recession

By Chris Hughes, Darrick Hamilton, and Naomi Zewde
December 2023

Institute Senior Fellow Chris Hughes and co-authors Darrick Hamilton and Naomi Zewde propose a new, nationwide program of monthly cash payments that would automatically begin when economic indicators signal a recession and continue until the national unemployment rate begins to decrease. Building upon the successful pandemic direct cash payments which dramatically decreased poverty, this policy would provide automatic, monthly payments to working-class families at the first sign of recession, staving off unemployment and stabilizing families and the American economy. The report outlines key design features of a timely, effective, and anti-racist automatic cash payments policy and provides estimates of its benefits for families by race and income.

Read the report >>>

Additional Reports
Guaranteed Income for the 21st Century

Released in May 2021, this white paper co-authored by UCLA health policy scholar Naomi Zewde with Darrick Hamilton and colleagues proposes a new national guaranteed income policy designed to abolish poverty and lift the incomes of tens of millions of Americans. The proposal would leverage the tax code to provide monthly guaranteed income, ensuring economic security for all–including Black and Brown communities historically left out of shared economic gains.

Read the report >>