Basic income: world’s first national experiment in Finland shows only modest benefits

Both advocates and critics of the idea of a universal basic income will find cause for consternation and celebration. The Finnish experiment paid 2,000 randomly-selected unemployed people a basic income of €560 per month, equivalent to the lower-tier unemployment benefit which it replaced. Payment was guaranteed to continue for the full two years of the experiment – regardless of whether the individual engaged in job search activities or received income from other sources. The results show that pessimistic predictions of a labour market exodus did not transpire. Unfortunately for basic income’s proponents, neither did the more optimistic accounts. Overall, the number of days in employment and total labour market earnings were no higher for those receiving the basic income than for those in the control group. Following the preliminary findings, further analysis will follow later in the spring and again next year. - The Conversation -



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