Former Staff

Stephen Nuñez

Lead Researcher, Guaranteed Income

As the Lead Researcher on Guaranteed Income (GI) until 2022, Dr. Stephen Nuñez lead JFI’s research into guaranteed income policy, testing its practical application and design by taking on empirical work that offers unique opportunities to understand how GI programs affect individuals and communities. He also supported modeling work to understand economy-wide effects of GI policy, and the implications for different approaches to financing.

Before coming to JFI, Steve was Research Manager at ImpactMatters and a Research Associate in MDRC’s Low-Wage Workers and Communities policy area. He brings over a decade of experience in research and program evaluation, with special expertise in housing, workforce, and community development. Steve holds a PhD in sociology, studying social network analysis with sociologist Mark Granovetter. He also completed a masters in economics at Stanford University, and a bachelors degree in politics from Princeton University.

Related Publication Series

From Idea to Reality: Getting to Guaranteed Income

A series on how to implement guaranteed income in the U.S. 2020-2022 With guaranteed income, sometimes referred to as UBI or basic income, increasingly in the policy mainstream, and governments and foundations experimenting with cash transfers as a means for blunting the impact of Covid-19, much remains unknown about how to design such policies most effectively. Drawn from several contributors and with guidance from experts across a range of related disciplines, this series aims to envision what comes next.

Messaging Guaranteed Income

In this special project, JFI researchers have taken a broad range of approaches to the question of guaranteed income in the public eye. In a U.S. nationally representative survey launched several months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we assess how cross-cutting socio-demographic and -economic characteristics affect support for basic income policies, in particular among those facing increasing economic precarity, and how the specifics of the policy—i.e. financing, eligibility and targeting—are viewed by partisan groups. We’ve reviewed the literature on framing and messaging guaranteed income, and hosted international scholars on building support for guaranteed income across political and cultural contexts.

Policy Microsimulations

Microsimulation is a commonly used tool in policy analysis to examine the poverty, distributional, and cost implications of changes to taxes and transfers. It allows us to explore the implications of benefit design (e.g. phase-ins and phase-outs) and financing choices. Although not set up to look at general equilibrium effects like a true macroeconomic model, a microsimulation gives insight into the initial, “gross” impact of a policy change.