Finland ran a two year basic income pilot program from 2017 to 2018. 2,000 people were chosen at random to receive roughly $600 a month for two years. The stated goal of the program was to see if having the extra income, which was given regardless of how much money someone earned from working, would encourage those who received it to take on additional low paying work, knowing they wouldn’t be penalized for doing so. Today, a study looking at the result of the two year effort concluded that while giving people free money did make them happier it didn’t encourage much additional work.
Researchers said people who received the money ‘described their well-being more positively’ than those who did not.
‘They also had a more positive perception of their cognitive abilities, i.e. memory, learning and ability to concentrate,’ researchers said…
But Kari Hämäläinen of Finland’s VATT Institute of Economic Research said the basic income had only a ‘small’ effect on employment levels.
The results suggest that for many people, ‘the problems related to finding employment are not related to bureaucracy or to financial incentives,’ he said.
Bloomberg reports there was only a slight different between those who received benefits and the control group who did not when it came to getting a job: