My dissertation is a mixed methods case study of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.
The Alaska Permanent Fund is a sovereign wealth fund created by the state's oil revenues, which has paid annual dividends to residents of Alaska for over 30 years. How does a capital share program like this work in practice? I am studying the Alaska PFD with the following questions in mind. What are the implications for inequality of the way the program enacts universality? How do people, in relation with family and community, make decisions about allocating unconditional policy money? How do visions of individual and collective ownership clash and cohere in the politics of the Dividend? My dissertation will use interviews and ethnographic fieldwork (began in Juneau in 2017, continuing in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula in 2019), archival materials, and quantitative data to explore these and related questions.
I also have a research interest in universal basic income -- a policy of directly providing a liveable income to all in a state, with no conditions on work or spending. What are the possibilities and limitations inherent to this approach to social welfare? Why has this idea become popular again and what can we learn from the experiments and trials underway in the US and elsewhere?
Publication: Reibstein, Sarah and Andy Stern. 2019. “The Case for a Universal Basic Income.” Youth, Jobs, and the Future: Problems and Prospects, pp. 239-261. Eds. Lynn Chancer, Martín Sánchez-Jankowski and Christine Trost. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sarah Reibstein is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at Princeton University.
She is also a Rutgers Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. Her research is funded by a Princeton University Fellowship and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
I am collaborating on a quantitative study of gender and race in worker cooperatives, using the Worker Co-op Census.
I was a member of the Post Growth Institute from 2015-2019, and have contributed to that collective's research and movement building around alternatives to profit-maximizing corporate structures and economies.
I am also organizing for graduate student labor rights as a member of Princeton Graduate Students United and AFT Academics.