Seminar: „Basic Income and Social Justice“ SS24

Prof. Dr. K.J. Bernhard Neumärker

SoCoLab seminar, winner of a University Teaching Award 2012 and the Economics Student Council Award 2021, 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, and a concluding session for the team experiments. In the first sessions (Part I), the theoretical foundations and political problems are laid, and after the introduction to experiment settings (Part II) follow the presentations and critical discussion on design and conduct of team experiments (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 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. Composition of the grade, which must not be worse than 4.0:

  • Experiment presentation and participation during discussions: 20%.
  • Seminar Paper Part 1, literature section: 30%.
  • Seminar Paper Part 2, experiment section: 50%.


  • A maximum of 20% absence is permitted.
  • More than 20% absence must be approved by us (e.g. unavailability due to illness).

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”:

M.Sc. Economics:
► Internal Elective for the profile „Economics and Politics“
From SS2023: External Elective for „Finance“ and „Information Systems and Network Economics“
M.Sc. VWL:
► Constitutional Economics and Competition Policy
► Empirical Economics
► Public Sector Economics and International Taxation
M.Sc. BWL:
► Public Sector Economics
► Volkswirtschaftslehre

Current Topics and Groups:

Topic 1: Universal versus Categorial Social Policies
Topic Supervisors: Clem Davies, Patrick Oschwald, Jette Weinel

Topic 2: Basic Income versus (Wage) Subsidy versus Wage Floor/Minimum Wage
Topic Supervisors: Robin Anderl

Topic 3: Basic Income versus Minimum Income Guarantee
Topic Supervisors: Bianca Blum, Dominik Schröder

Topic 4: Pure versus Mixed Systems of Income Support: Pure UBI vs pure MIG vs WS vs UBI&WS vs MIG&WS
Topic Supervisors: Simon März

Topic 5: Contractarian Choice of the Social Welfare Function for the Constitutional Determination of Social Policy Rules, and Development
Topic Supervisors: Marcel Franke, Tobias Jäger

Time Schedule:

For application information, please see the „Announcement“ below.

For further questions feel free to send a mail to marcel.franke (at)”.

The seminar takes place in English language.

Documents regarding the course (for literature see Ilias):


Organzisational Slides (Introductory Session)

Introductory Session Slides

Session Slides 1-6