Guaranteed Income or Employment

Economic Rights for the 21st Century
Friday March 8, 2013

A look at the social, political and economic justifications for the legal right to work or income, as well as historical examples of direct public employment programs.


This seminar focuses on the social, political and economic justifications for securing a legal right to meaningful work and basic material wellbeing, as well as historical examples of direct public employment programs from various nations including the United States, Argentina and India. Questions to be addressed include:

  • Should individuals have a legal right to work and/or basic material wellbeing?

  • Can we afford a job or income guarantee?

  • What would a job or income guarantee look like?

  • What can we learn from direct employment programs from the past and abroad?



Pavlina Tcherneva

Associate Professor of Economics & Economics Department Director
Bard College

Pavlina Tcherneva, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Economics, Director of the Economics Department and the Economics & Finance Program at Bard College, and Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute. She has worked with policymakers from Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Turkey, and the United States on developing and evaluating job creation programs, and conducted research on the financial and institutional aspects of direct job creation programs, the impact of public employment on women and the environment, and the relative merits of job and income guarantee proposals. She blogs for New Economic Perspectives.

Philip T. Harvey

Professor of Law and Economics
Rutgers School of Law-Camden

Philip T. Harvey, Ph.D. J.D. is Professor of Law and Economics at Rutgers School of Law-Camden. He previously clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York, and worked as a Litigation Associate specializing in employment disputes at the New York law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton. Dr. Harvey’s published research, including two books, focuses on public policy options for securing economic and social human rights, with a particular emphasis on the right to work. Many of his publications are available at his website.


Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg

Professor of Social Policy
Adelphi University of Social Work

Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg is Professor of Social Policy, Adelphi University of Social Work. For a number of years she served as Director of its Center for Social Policy. She is the author of Jobs for All: A Plan for the Revitalization of America (with Sheila D. Collins and Helen Lachs Ginsburg, 1994) and Washington’s New Poor Law: Welfare “Reform” and the Roads Not Taken, 1935 to the Present (with Sheila D. Collins, 2001), and the editor of The Feminization of Poverty: Only in America? (with Eleanor Kremen, 1990). She is a co-founder and Chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition.




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