The BIG Library: Books About Basic Income

Scott Santens , Editor, Medium

People consider me somewhat of an expert on the topic of basic income and so I’m frequently asked for book recommendations. Because of that, I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive list here on Medium which I will make a point of updating as new books are released and old books are discovered. If you don’t see a book here and think it should be listed, please let me know so I can add it.

Optionally, if you wish to purchase one of these books, please consider using Amazon Smile which you can do by changing in the URL to This will give a portion of the purchase to charity, and the charity I recommend is Give Directly because that will help support their historic 12 year long universal basic income experiment in West Africa.

Also, due to popular request, books of fiction that include basic income can be found at the end of this list. And if you’re looking for academic papers to read instead, here’s a great list on .

Note: List is ordered by release date chronological order


The Case for Universal Basic Income
by Louise Haagh (May 6, 2019)

The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing
by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (January 22, 2019)

Fully Automated Luxury Communism
by Aaron Bastani (January 22, 2019)


A Critical Analysis of Basic Income Experiments for Researchers, Policymakers, and Citizens
by Karl Widerquist (December 30, 2018)

Universal Basic Income and the Reshaping of Democracy: Towards a Citizens’ Stipend in a New Political Order
by Burkhard Wehner (December 29, 2018)

Where We Go from Here: Chaos to Community: A Modest Proposal for the Livable Income Security Act of 2019
by ‘A’ohe Mea (November 10, 2018)

Basic Income for Canadians: The key to a healthier, happier, more secure life for all
by Evelyn L. Forget (October 2, 2018)

The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene
by Simon L. Lewis and Mark A. Maslin (August 28, 2018)

Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World
by Annie Lowrey (July 10, 2018)

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America
by Alissa Quart (June 26, 2018)

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory
by David Graeber (May 15, 2018)

It’s Basic Income: The Global Debate
edited by Amy Downes and Stewart Lansley (May 15, 2018)

Basic Income and the Left: A European Debate
by Philippe Van Parijs (May 2, 2018)

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society
by Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl (April 29, 2018)

The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income is Our Future
by Andrew Yang (April 13, 2018)

Growing Pains: the future of democracy (and work)
by Gwynne Dyer (March 8, 2018)

Tomorrow 3.0: Transaction Costs and the Sharing Economy
by Michael C. Munger (March 6, 2018)

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn
by Chris Hughes (February 20, 2018)

Against Charity
by Julie Wark and Daniel Raventos (February 6, 2018)


Basic Income Imperative: For Peace, Justice, Liberty, And Personal Dignity
by Steven Shafarman (September 7, 2017)

Universal Basic Income: The Irish Context
by Paul O’Brien (September 10, 2017)

Basic Income: A Guide for the Open-Minded
by Guy Standing (August 29, 2017)

A Basic Income Handbook
by Annie Miller (August 15, 2017)

Basic Income Policy and National Debts: The Basic Blueprint for a Global Planned Economy
by Justin R. SmithAugust 5, 2017

Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen
by Guy Standing (July 25, 2017)

Financing Basic Income: Addressing the Cost Objection (Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee)
edited by Richard Pereira (May 24, 2017)

Work Inequality Basic Income
by Brishen Rogers, Philippe van Parijs, Dorian Warren, Tommie Shelby, and Diane Coyle (May 2, 2017)

Omnia Sunt Communia: On the Commons and the Transformation to Postcapitalism (In Common)
by Massimo de Angelis (April 15, 2017)

Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work
edited by Kevin LaGrandeur and James J. Hughes (March 29,2017)(one chapter about basic income by Scott Santens)

The New Human Rights Movement: Reinventing the Economy to End Oppression
by Peter Joseph (March 21, 2017)

Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy
by Phillipe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght (March 20, 2017)

Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World
by Rutger Bregman (March 14, 2017)

Why the Future Is Workless
By Tim Dunlop (February 1, 2017)

Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians
by Dr. Danielle Martin (January 10, 2017)


Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas
by Steven Poole (November 15, 2016)

System Upgrade v2.016: Solutions for a failing economy, wealth distribution, declining democracy, climate change, and robots that steal jobs
By Gris Anik (November 15, 2016)

No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea
by James Livingston (October 28, 2016)

Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing (Critical Topics in Contemporary Anthropology)
by Thomas Widlok (October 14, 2016)

Basic Income: How a Canadian movement could change the world
by Roderick Benns (October 13, 2016)

Basic Income in Australia and New Zealand: Perspectives from the Neoliberal Frontier (Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee)
edited by Jennifer Mays, Greg Marston, and John Tomlinson (October 7, 2016)

Citizen’s Basic Income: A Christian Social Policy
by Malcolm Torry (September 29, 2016)

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-first Century
By Ryan Avent (September 20, 2016)

What Do We Do About Inequality?
by Wicked Problems Collaborative (September 5, 2016)

Extinction: A Radical History
by Ashley Dawson (July 22, 2016)

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay
by Guy Standing (July 14, 2016)

The Feasibility of Citizen’s Income
by Malcolm Torry (July 9, 2016)

Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream
by Andy Stern (June 14, 2016)

In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State (Revised and Updated Edition)
by Charles Murray (June 2, 2016)

Why We Can’t Afford the Rich
by Andrew Sayer (May 15, 2016)

The Case for a Basic Income
by Robert Jameson

Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few
by Robert Reich

Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy
by Robin Hahnel and Erik Olin Wright

Can the Welfare State Survive?
by Andrew Gamble

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-hour Workweek
by Rutger Bregman

Voting for Freedom: The 2016 Swiss Referendum on Basic Income: A Milestone in the Advancement of Democracy
by Daniel Hani, Philip Kovce, Joseph F. Bailey (translator)

A Feasible Basic Income Scheme for Germany: Effects on Labor Supply, Poverty, and Income Inequality
by Maximilian Sommer

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future
by Paul Mason

The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century
by Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee


The Refusal of Work: Rethinking Post-Work Theory and Practice
by David Frayne

Free Money for All: A Basic Income Guarantee Solution for the Twenty-First Century
by Mark Walker

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work
by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams

101 Reasons for a Citizen’s Income: Arguments for Giving Everyone Some Money
by Malcolm Torry

Change Everything: Creating an Economy for the Common Good
by Christian Felber

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
by Naomi Klein

Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution
by James Ferguson

Inequality: What Can Be Done?
by Anthony B. Atkinson

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
by Martin Ford

The 1% and the Rest of Us: A Political Economy of Dominant Ownership
by Tim Di Muzio

Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India
by Sarath Davala, Renana Jhabvala, Guy Standing, Soumya Kapoor Mehta

Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World
by Martin Adams


Basic Income in Japan: Prospects for a Radical Idea in a Transforming Welfare State
by Y. Vanderborght and T. Yamamori

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation
by Tyler Cowen

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay Enough
by Peter Barnes

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class
by Guy Standing

A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens
by Guy Standing

A Convenient Truth: A better society for us and the planet
by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett


Basic Income and the Free Market: Austrian Economics and the Potential for Efficient Redistribution
by Guinevere Liberty Nell

Money for Everyone: Why We Need a Citizen’s Income
by Malcolm Torry

Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research
by Karl Widerquist, Jose Noguera, Yannick Vanderborght, Jurgen De Wispelaere

Our Money: how to shrink government, boost business, eliminate poverty and make the economy work properly for everyone
by Malcolm Henry

Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No
by Karl Widerquist


Citizen’s Income and Welfare Regimes in Latin America: From Cash Transfers to Rights
by Ruben Lo Vuolo

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK: how to survive the economic collapse and be happy
by Federico Pistono

Basic Income Worldwide: Horizons of Reform
by Matthew Murray and Carole Pateman

Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around the World
by Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard

Basic Income Guarantee: Your Right to Economic Security
by Allan Sheahen

Basic Income Guarantee and Politics: International Experiences and Perspectives on the Viability of Income Guarantee
by Richard Caputo

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its Suitability as a Model
by Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard

Basic Income Reconsidered: Social Justice, Liberalism, and the Demands of Equality
by Simon Birnbaum

Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy
by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee


Citizen’s Income and Green Economics
by Clive Lord and Miriam Kennet

A Better World is Possible
by Bruce Nixon

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
by Charles Eisenstein


Envisioning Real Utopias
by Erik Olin Wright


The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future
by Martin Ford


We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform
by Richard C. Cook

Ending Poverty: Changing Behavior, Guaranteeing Income, and Transforming Government
by Joseph V. Kennedy


Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom
by Daniel Raventos

The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle over Guaranteed Income Policy
by Brian Steensland


Left Turn: Forging a New Political Future (Radical Imagination)
by Stanley Aronowitz

In Our Hands : A Plan To Replace The Welfare State
by Charles Murray

Redesigning Distribution: Basic Income and Stakeholder Grants as Cornerstones for an Egalitarian Capitalism
by Bruce Ackerman, Anne Alstott, Philippe Van Parijs


The Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee
by Karl Widerquist, Michael Anthony Lewis, Steven Pressman


The Origins of Universal Grants: An Anthology of Historical Writings on Basic Capital and Basic Income
by John Cunliffe and Guido Erreygers

The End of Work
by Jeremy Rifkin

The Ethics of Stakeholding
by Keith Dowding, Jurgen De Wispelaere, Stuart White


The Civic Minimum: On the Rights and Obligations of Economic Citizenship
by Stuart White

Basic Income on the Agenda: Policy Objectives and Political Chances
by Loek Groot and Robert-Jan van der Veen


What’s Wrong With a Free Lunch?
by Philippe Van Parijs


The Stakeholder Society
by Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott (2000)


Freedom and Security: An Introduction to the Basic Income Debate
by Tony Fitzpatrick (1999)

The National Tax Rebate: A New America With Less Government
by Leonard M. Greene (1998)

Real Freedom for All: What (if anything) can justify capitalism?
by Philippe Van Parijs (1998)

Building a Win-Win World: Life Beyond Global Economic Warfare
by Hazel Henderson (1997)

The $30,000 Solution: A Guarantee Annual Income for Every American
by Robert R. Schutz (1997)

… and Economic Justice for All: Welfare Reform for the 21st Century
by Michael L. Murray (1997)

Tyranny of Kindness: Dismantling the Welfare System to End Poverty in America
by Theresa Funiciello (1994)

Arguing for Basic Income: Ethical Foundations for a Radical Reform
by Philippe Van Parijs (1985)

Liberating the Early American Dream: A Way to Transcend the Capitalist/Communist Dilemma Nonviolently
by Alfred F. Andersen (1982)

Work Incentives and Income Guarantees: The New Jersey Negative Income Tax Experiment
by Joseph A. Pechman and P. Michael Timpane (1975)

The Politics of a Guaranteed Income: The Nixon Administration and the Family Assistance Plan
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1973)

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)

Two-Factor Theory: The Economics Of Reality
by Louis O. Kelso and Patricia Hetter

The Guaranteed Income: Next Step in Economic Evolution?
by Robert Theobald

Economic Democracy
by C. H. Douglas

A reasonable revolution: being a discussion of the state bonus scheme, a proposal for a national minimum income
by Bertram Pickard

Higher production by a bonus on national output: A proposal for a minimum income for all varying with national productivity
by Dennis Milner

Roads to Freedom
by Bertrand Russell

Basic Income in Fiction

Crisis: 2038: A Novel
by Gerald Huff (November 16, 2018)

The Expanse Book Series
by James S. A. Corey

Manna: Two Visions of Humanity’s Future
by Marshall Brain

Operation Toga: Type One Go Ahead
by John Griffin

by Leon H. Eden

Schrodinger’s Cat II: The Trick Top Hat
by Robert Anton Wilson

For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs
by Robert A. Heinlein

Beyond This Horizon
by Robert A. Heinlein

Maya Greenwood Book Series
by Starhawk

The Midas Plague
by Frederik Pohl

Honor Harrington (13 Book Series)
by David Weber

You may also be interested in...