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Finland’s Social Insurance Institution just released results from a two-year experiment with Universal Basic Income. The plan was simple. Instead of only giving unemployment benefits to people who are out of work, Finland would randomly select 2,000 people who would receive a monthly payment whether or not they worked. This guaranteed income was supposed to encourage people receiving it to take more jobs or even start new businesses. But that’s not what happened. From the official press release:
‘On the basis of an analysis of register data on an annual level, we can say that during the first year of the experiment the recipients of a basic income were no better or worse than the control group at finding employment in the open labour market’, says Ohto Kanninen, Research Coordinator at the Labour Institute for Economic Research.
Recipients - Income - Days - Employment - Control
The recipients of a basic income had on average 0.5 days more in employment than the control group. The average number of days in employment during the year was 49.64 days for the recipients of a basic income and 49.25 for the control group.
The proportion that had had earnings or income from self-employment was approximately one percentage point higher for the recipients of a basic income than for the control group (43.70% and 42.85%). Then again, the amount of earnings and income from self-employment was on average 21 euros lower for the recipients of a basic income than for the control group (€4,230 and €4,251).
Caveats - Experiment - Assessment - Data - Place
There are two caveats here that need to be mentioned. The first is that while this two-year experiment is now over, the assessment of the data is taking place with a one-year delay. In other words, this conclusion is based on just the first half of the data that was collected. The final comprehensive results including year two of this experiment...
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