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Basic Income and Social Justice

Seminar “Basic Income and Social Justice”

(Summer Term 2017)


Prof. Dr. K.J. Bernhard Neumärker


SoCoLab seminar, winner of a University teaching award 2012, deviates from a usual seminar setting. The students after reading the necessary papers and finish the required assignments will be welcomed during class to participate and discuss the elements of the theories and their ideas with Prof. Neumärker and his co-workers. The seminar consists of an introduction, 2 blocked meetings, a day of experiments with the participants, a session for the team experiments, and a concluding session. In the first sessions (Part I), the theoretical foundations are laid, and after the experiment sessions (Part II) follows one session with critical discussion (Part III). The participation in all the classes is obligatory in order to achieve maximum participation and understanding of the subjects. After the classes and the experiments for seminar participants are over, teams are given a sufficient amount of time to develop an experiment on the topic. In the team experiments, the participants are expected to critically reflect on one of the issues/aspects tackled in the seminar. The experiment design formalities and more specific information on the content will be provided to all participants.

 The overall grade is the weighted as a sum of all three elements of the seminar with the following weights: Team Experiment and Paper/Report on a Basic Income Experiment: 60%, Assignments: 20%, Class Participation: 20%. The teams will be built, at the latest, after the “Experimental Sessions for Participants”.

Students will receive 6 ECTS credit points upon successful completion of the seminar. The Seminar can be recognized as “Topics in the Economics of Social Justice” for students enrolled in the “M.Sc. Economics” or “M.Sc. VWL” program.


Current Topics and Groups:

Group (1)

Title : Voting and Collective Decision-making under Negative Income Tax (NIT)

Topic Supervisor: Max Trommsdorff
Group (2)
Title : Basic income And Gender Preferences Towards Competition 

Topic Supervisor: Matthew Bonick

Group (3)

Title : How does social mobility influence the public attitude towards an unconditional basic income?

Topic Supervisor: Marcel Franke

Group (4)
Title : Effects of basic income on choice of major

Topic Supervisor: Bianca Blum
Group (5)
Title : Basic Income and Volunteerism 

Topic Supervisor: Ana Palermo Kuss

Time schedule:




HS 2330

Introductory Session 



HS 2330

3 Two Hour Sessions on Basic Income Theories and Social Contracting



R4 Bismarckalle 22

3 Two Hour Sessions on Experimental Logic and Design, and its Application to Social Contracting on Basic Income



HS 2114a

2 Three Hour Experimental Sessions for Participants



HS 2114a

1 Two Our Session for the Team Experiments



HS 2330

1 Two Hour Feedback Session on Critical Discussion of the Theoretical Underpinnings and Experimental Outcomes


For registration, the registration period begins on 03.02.2017 and students are requested to send an e-mail to “matthew.bonick@vwl.uni-freiburg.de” before 25.04.2016. The latest date for registration is the “Introductory Session”. The seminar is on a first come first serve basis. In the email please send: surname, name, matriculation code, course of study and semester.


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