Open for applications: FRIBIS Summer School on “Empirical methods of UBI investigations” in July 2023

FRIBIS will be hosting a three-part Summer School this year which will take place in Freiburg. Each part will focus on the topic of “Empirical Methods in UBI Investigation” but from different perspectives. The Summer School will be held in English and applications can be submitted now. (For Deadlines, see below)

Part 1/3: How to build a UBI pilot

The first part of the Summer School (July 10, 2023) will start with the topic How to build a UBI pilot. A growing number of UBI pilot tests are being proposed or are in preparation around the world. However, there is limited knowledge about how to design a pilot, the most appropriate methods, and the ethics of pilot research. Participants will address these issues.

Application deadline: 22nd May 2023.

Part 2/3: Social Contract Lab Experiments

The second part of the Summer School (11th-14th July) is entitled Social Contract Lab Experiments. It will focus on the application of Social Contract Theory to behavioural and experimental economics, both in theory and practice. Participants will discuss the relevance of behavioural experiments for normative theories and learn how to design and conduct lab experiments.

Application deadline: 22nd May 2023.

Summer School 3/3: Microsimulation and Social Welfare Maximization

The third part of the Summer School (18th-20th July) will focus on the topic of Microsimulation and Social Welfare Maximization. Both young researchers (MSc, PhD) and more advanced academics who are nevertheless still beginners in static modelling will have the rare opportunity to learn from an extensive introduction to the development of static microsimulation models and welfare analysis, covering both theory and practice.

Application deadline: 22nd May 2023.

A tribute to Götz W. Werner: New YouTube videos with Prof. Bernhard Neumärker and Enno Schmidt

Two videos on the legacy of Götz Werner produced by Enno Schmidt have just been published on the FRIBIS YouTube channel: Prof. Bernhard Neumärker draws connections between Götz Werner’s various guiding entrepreneurial principles in his lecture “UBI & New Ordoliberalism“, while Enno Schmidt paints a vivid picture of Götz Werner as an entrepreneur and basic income advocate in his tribute film.

Bernhard Neumärker: UBI & New Ordoliberalism

In this lecture, Prof. Neumärker shows how Götz Werner’s entrepreneurial guiding principles and the academic UBI discourse are interrelated in numerous ways. These principles include Ex ante Social Contracting, Ex post stable Social Contracting, Ex post Governance and aspects of a paradigm shift in the social market economy. Prof. Neumärker shows how New Ordoliberalism and Basic Income can be derived from Werner’s principles as basic cornerstones of a just social contract.

Neumärker discusses the ‘Libertarian Trap’ in the Political Economy of Freedom as well as the ‘Authoritarian Trap’. He shows how the Participatory UBI could help to avoid the libertarian trap and to get a step out of the authoritarian trap. The paradigm shift he envisions also extends to the means-tested welfare system, the redistribution of power in labor contracts, and the potentials of a UBI, in terms of time sovereignty (multiplicative utility function) and intrinsic motivation. Finally, Neumärker argues that the consumption tax is an adequate way to finance the basic income.

An obituary for Götz W. Werner by Enno Schmidt

At the 2022 BIEN Congress in Brisbane, Australia, Enno Schmidt presented this obituary to raise Götz Werner’s international profile.

Enno Schmidt is co-founder of the popular initiative and referendum for the introduction of Unconditional Basic Income in Switzerland, author of the film “Grundeinkommen – ein Kulturimpuls” (“Basic Income – A Cultural Impulse”) and managing director of FRIBIS.

Götz Werner was a multi-award-winning entrepreneur and the most prominent proponent of an Unconditional Basic Income in Germany. In the period from 2005 until shortly before his death, Enno Schmidt conducted numerous interviews with him and examined Götz Werner’s mindset and corporate leadership as well as its actual impact on the people in his company.

Basic Income Globetrotter: Prof. Jurgen De Wispelaere now in Freiburg

His academic interest in Basic Income has already taken Jurgen De Wispelaere to many places: From Belgium to Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Spain, Finland, Argentina and finally Chile. His research focuses on Basic Income experiments and how they have impacted policy. Now Prof. De Wispelaere will stay in Freiburg for three months to research, teach, write and share ideas with members of both FRIBIS and GWP.

Wissenschaftliche Veranstaltungen mit Jurgen De Wispelaere

Between 24 April and 10 May, Jurgen De Wispelaere will host a Public Lecture Series on “The State Of The Art In Basic Income Policy: A Public Lecture Series“, to which he has invited prominent participants. In the summer semester, Prof. De Wispelaere will also offer a seminar for Master’s students: “Recent Advances in Basic Income Policy Research“.



On Thursday, 27th April, he will present an evening lecture on Basic Income Trials: The problem of assuring (continued) political commitment. This event will take place online as well as onsite.

On 11 May, as part of the UBITrans Public Seminar Series, he will give a lecture on “Basic income as an Eco-Social Policy Instrument? A Preliminary Framework and Comparative Analysis of Policy Alternatives“.

Interview with Jurgen De Wispelaere about his visit in Freiburg

What do you hope to gain from your time in Freiburg on both a private and academic level?

On a personal level it is really interesting for me to visit Germany again and reclaim my long-lost quasi-German heritage. I was actually born in Köln — hence the name Jürgen, although I dropped the Umlaut when I moved to the UK in the late 1990s because the English don’t know what to do with that. I moved to Belgium when I was 10y old and haven’t been back to Germany since. At the time I was fluent in German, but 40 years later, I hope to use the three months in Freiburg to recover as much as possible. Of course, it isn’t just about the language but also reconnecting to the German culture and lifestyle I still vaguely remember.

On a professional level I look forward to meeting and discussing basic income with a whole group of students — master, PhD and postdocs — at GWP and FRIBIS. Meeting fresh faces and discussing their and my research is what research visits are all about. As you become more senior in your career, you start to realise that the really exciting new ideas often come from people at the start of their career. So I’m keen to learn and explore collaborating with both students and faculty in Freiburg. At the same time, I also look forward to connecting again with broader research communities in Europe, which is much easier to do from Freiburg than from Valdivia in the south of Chile (where I normally live).

Are there any writing projects you want to focus on during your stay?

Funnily enough, yes! In addition to finishing up some small pieces of research, I’ll be working on three main areas of research. First, I will continue working on the policy impact of basic income experiments, which is an area of research strangely absent from much of the debate around basic income experiments. People talk about the design, implementation and findings of experiments, but no one really looks at what happens after. This is a project I have started with Joe Chrisp, which already led to a special issue of the European Journal of Social Security, but which we are now developing and expanding.

A second project is also related to basic income experiments. With my long-standing collaborator Lindsay Stirton, I plan to work on a paper that examines how to assure that political actors continue their initial commitment to funding, designing, implementing and evaluating a basic income experiment. It turns out that governments who make an initial political commitment to a basic income experiment immediately face all sorts of political pressures and circumstances that threaten this continued commitment. By looking at several of the recent cases (Finland, Ontario, Catalonia and Ireland) I hope to get more insight in what is the core problem and how we might think of protecting basic income experiments from loss of political commitment over time. This will be the topic of my public lecture on 27 April. Third, building on earlier work I published on the relation between basic income and exit from the labour market, I will explore the option of collaborating on some research in the political economy of basic income and the exit option with Prof Neumärker and several of the PhD students. These projects should keep me busy during the three months I’ll be visiting Freiburg.

The State Of The Art In Basic Income Policy: A Public Lecture Series (hosted by Prof. Dr. Jurgen De Wispelaere)

The public lecture series is the perfect opportunity to delve into some of the cutting-edge work in the field of basic income policy research. Featuring six expert authors, each discussing a key article in their research, this series promises to offer unique insights into the challenges and opportunities surrounding basic income policy. Join us online for this enriching event series and explore the latest research and findings on basic income policy.

The host of the public seminar series is Professor Jurgen De Wispelaere who is the visiting professor at the Götz-Werner-Chair. Professor De Wispelaere is a political theorist and policy scholar, and a world-leading expert on the politics of basic income. This event series is inspired by the seminar he offers this semester at the University of Freiburg.

On Monday, 24th April, Prof. Dr. Milena Buchs (University of Leeds) will present an evening lecture on Sustainable welfare: How do universal basic income and universal basic services compare?.

Video recording:

On Wednesday, 26th April, Assit.-Prof. Dr. Femke Roosma (Tilburg University) will present an evening lecture on Between left and right: A discourse network analysis of Universal Basic Income on Dutch Twitter.

Video recording:

On Friday, 28th April, Prof. Dr. Yannick Vanderborght (UCLouvain Saint-Louis Bruxelles) will present an evening lecture on Basic Income and the Social Investment State: Towards Mutual Reinforcement?.

On Wednesday, 3rd May, Assist.-Prof. Dr. Pilar Gonalons-Pons (University of Pennsylvania) will present an evening lecture on Exit, voice and loyalty in the family: findings from a basic income experiment.

Video recording:

On Monday, 8th May, Prof. Dr. Tim Vlandas (University of Oxford) will present an evening lecture on The political economy of individual-level support for the basic income in Europe.

Video recording:

On Wednesday, 10th May, Dr. Leire Rincón (Autonomous University of Barcelona) will present an evening lecture on A Robin Hood for all: a conjoint experiment on support for basic income.

Video recording:

International Women’s Day and Universal Basic Income

Authors: Jessica Schulz and Toru Yamamori (FRIBIS Team: UBI & Gender)

50 years ago, thousands women across the U.K. gathered in London for an ‘International Women’s Day’ march. After the march, some of them occupied a post office in London. It was a symbolic act to express their opposition against the government plan to scrap ‘family allowances’ which were paid to mothers with two or more children. They were paid through post offices every week.

Today International Women’s Day stands between a global networked activism for equality, especially in education and work, for example the demand for equal pay, and capitalist commercialization. But what can we learn from its origin of this struggle for equality of class and gender?

The photo on the left is the poster for 1973 London ‘International Women’s Day’ march. The photo on the right was the original photo taken by Angela Phillips in August 1972. For the story behind these two photos, see

Women’s Class Struggles and the History of International Women’s Day

As both the activism for gender equality as well as class equality are theoretical interlaced, a further look on the history of International Women’s Day gives an idea of the practical interrelation of these concepts. Starting from the United States in 1909, feminists led by the Women’s Trade Union League, proclaimed a National Women’s Day to emphasize the need for women’s suffrage to offer a political voice for women working in factories. In Germany, probably the most famous activist is Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) who, inspired by the U.S. National Women’s Day led the women of the Second International, a socialist alliance, to call for an International Women’s Day.

Continue reading: Jessica Schulz: “Through the lens of feminism. Basic income from a feminist perspective (FRIBIS Team UBI & Gender)”

International Women’s Day, working-class women, and Universal Basic Income in the 1970s Britain

In the above occupation after the London International Women’s Day march in 1973, working-class women in the Claimants Union movement played a significant role, along with other working-class women. They demanded Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), and family allowances were a major source of their imagination that helped them to articulate UBI. Several years later, they succeeded in making UBI one of demands of the British Women’s Liberation Movement.

For details of working-class women in the Claimants Unions and their demand for UBI, see

Philippe van Parijs: A world in crisis: boost or damper for basic income?

Some argue that global warming, the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine strengthen the case in favour of the introduction of an unconditional basic income. Others argue instead that they shatter the prospect of introducing it in the foreseeable future. Who is right? This question was the starting point of the lecture given by Philippe Van Parijs on January 19, 2023 in Freiburg as part of the FRIBIS Lecture Series.

The lecture was held in the context of the FRIBIS Winter School 2023, chaired by Philippe Van Parijs. The Winter School (January 16-20, 2023) was dedicated to the theme “Today’s Global Challenges and the UBI Debate”.

Announcement Seminar “Basic Income And Social Justice” at the Götz-Werner-Professorship in Summer Semester 2023

In the summer semester of 2023, the Götz Werner Professorship at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg will again offer the seminar “Basic Income and Social Justice”. The seminar is aimed at Master’s students with an interest in research on the topic of unconditional basic income.

We are pleased to welcome this semester’s special guest Ugo Colombino in the last seminar session on 07/17/2023. He is the author of the various papers on which the experimental topics of the seminar are based.

For more information about the seminar and how to participate, please visit the GWP page under Announcement and the course website.

FRIBIS-Discussion-Paper: How is the declining share related to technological change – and what does this mean for the feasibility of a UBI?

As part of the FRIBIS Discussion Papers series, a new paper by Joe Chrisp, Aida Garcia-Lazaro, Nick Pearce has just been published:

Technological chance and growth regimes – Assessing the case for universal basic income in an era declining labour shares.

The starting point of their study is the diagnosis that there has been a substantial decline in labor force participation rates and a rise in inequality in most OECD countries in recent decades. They argue that the decline in labor share and the rise in inequality pose various problems for these countries, whether in terms of distributive justice, economic and social outcomes, such as insufficient aggregate income and demand, or democratic politics.

What role does technological change play in this development and does this change speak for or against the feasibility of an Unconditional Basic Income? These and other questions are addressed in the paper.

Joe Chrisp: Research Associate, Institute for Policy Research (IPR), University of Bath

Aida Garcia-Lazaro: Research Associate, Institute for Policy Research (IPR), University of Bath, FRIBIS Team Microsimulation

Nick Pearce: Director, Institute for Policy Research (IPR), University of Bath, FRIBIS Team Microsimulation

Götz Werner and his legacy in Freiburg, on the first anniversary of his death.

The founder of the dm drugstores (dm-Drogeriemarkt), Götz W. Werner, died a year ago, on February 8, 2022, at the age of 78. He had become widely known to the public for his advocacy of a Basic Income. This income was to guarantee human dignity and be available to everyone “from the cradle to the grave” with no strings attached. Götz Werner’s commitment to the idea of a Basic Income continues to have a particular impact in Freiburg, where he enabled research on the UBI through a generous grant to the University of Freiburg.

He chose Freiburg as the site of the new institute because this is where a significant part of the development of German ordoliberalism had taken place. His ideal was for a New Ordoliberalism (Neuer Ordoliberalismus) to emerge in Freiburg, closely linked to the concept of the UBI. In addition, his close friend and advisor, Benediktus Hardorp, who had done his PhD in Freiburg. Hardup contributed in particular to Götz Werner’s conviction that the focus on VAT was the right tax approach for the positive development of society. For him, the Freiburg tradition was a sign that this was the right place to develop promising new ideas.

When Götz Werner began advocating the idea of a Basic Income in public in the 1980s, he was already filling large halls and inspiring his audiences. While UBI was considered, for a long time, a mere utopia, it is now being discussed and tested in numerous pilot projects around the world. In Germany, its implementation is being considered again and again, both politically and in civil society.

Toward the end of his life, Götz Werner decided that he would give his intellectual legacy an academic, institutional foundation. With Bernhard Neumärker, Professor of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory at the University of Freiburg, he found the person to whom he could assign this task. Götz Werner and his wife Beatrice, herself a native of Freiburg, hence established the Götz Werner Chair (GWP), with Bernhard Neumärker as director. Eventually, in addition to the chair and the founding of an interdisciplinary center of excellence, the Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS), was made possible through the financial support of the dm-Werner Foundation. The then rector of the university, Hans-Jochen Schiewer, recognized the socio-political relevance of UBI and gave his support to the initiative. The aim was to make the University of Freiburg a center of academic debate and civil-societal and political discussion on this topic for the future.

Today, FRIBIS consists of numerous staff members and mostly multinational research teams in which academics and actors from civil society work together. The teams are dedicated to specific societal issues that relate to basic income, including gender justice, ecological aspects of production and consumption, financing options and care work. FRIBIS is the world’s largest research center on UBI and therefore attracts leading researchers from all over the world.

FRIBIS-Annual-Conference 2022: Impressions and review

The FRIBIS Annual Conference 2022 was entitled “Basic Income and Development” and took place in Freiburg from October 10 to 12 October 2022. In view of the current global crises, the conference posed the question to what extent a basic income could provide viable solutions and generate new perspectives. Would it help to use environmental resources more sustainably, preserve biodiverse habitats and make social communities more resilient? Could it assist people in (post-) conflict regions to establish or secure social peace? Or would it have, as some critics suggest, the opposite effect instead? What are the potentials and risks of a basic income for development practices in the Global South, and how do they relate to concepts of redistribution and justice? These and other questions were addressed at the conference.

Due to the global dimension of the topic, the conference focused on international issues, with the collaboration of scholars and representatives from civil society ensuring a lively exchange.

In addition to three keynote lectures by Sarath Davala, Miram Laker-Oketta and Ugo Gentilini, there were a total of 19 panel sessions in various formats. Thanks to technical support from Meeting Owls, hybrid panels were also offered, allowing participants to discuss the topic with people from all over the world, in Freiburg. Two of the keynotes are now available as films (created by Enno Schmidt) on the FRIBIS-YouTube Channel.

The whole FRIBIS team was very happy with the engagement of the participants and we are already looking forward to the next Annual Conference!