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Results from the evaluation study of the Finnish Basic Income Experiment 2017-2018



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Results from the evaluation study of the Finnish Basic Income Experiment 2017-2018

  1. 1. Results from the evaluation study of the Finnish Basic Income Experiment 2017-2018 6th May 2020 O. Kangas, M. Simanainen, S. Jauhiainen, M. Ylikännö (ed.)
  2. 2. Basic Income Experiment 2017-2018 • A nation-wide obligatory basic income experiment, based on a law on UBI experiment, was conducted in Finland in years 2017– 2018 • The interest was in the impact of a basic income on the participants’ employment status, income, use of social benefits and subjective well-being • In the experiment, 2,000 randomly selected unemployed job seekers between 25 and 58 years of age received a monthly payment of €560, unconditionally and without means testing
  3. 3. Scientific evaluation of the experiment • To study the effects of basic income, the treatment group of 2,000 individuals is compared against a control group comprised of 173,000 • Several subprojects evaluate the experiment from different perspectives with a rich set of data sources. • Also, the media coverage of the basic income experiment was studied as well as public opinion of UBI after the experiment 26.5.20203
  4. 4. Employment • From November 2017 to October 2018 employment increased on average six days more in the treatment group than in the control group - more positive employment effects among families with children, and among those whose mother tongue is other than Finnish, Swedish or Same • In January 2018, an activation model was implemented as part of public UB system • The employment effects for the second year of the experiment were a joint effect of the basic income experiment and the activation model 26.5.20204 For more information, please contact: kari.hamalainen@vatt.fi
  5. 5. Subjective wellbeing • The phone survey was targeted at the 2,000 recipients of a basic income and at a sample of 5,000 persons in the control group, and it was conducted in October–December 2018 • The response rate was low, 31% in the treatment group and 20% in the control group – this is not exceptional today in survey studies • The survey results showed significant differences between the groups on key indicators representing different aspects of subjective well-being - basic income recipients assessed their well-being more positively than respondents in the control group 26.5.20205
  6. 6. Subjective wellbeing • Higher generalized and institutional trust, as well as confidence in the future and self-confidence among UBI recipients - also, less stress and symptoms of depression and better cognitive functioning than the control group • Financial well-being of UBI recipients was better • UBI recipients experienced less bureaucracy • Different aspects of wellbeing were scrutinized in different subprojects – however they are clearly intertwined 26.5.20206 For more information, please contact: signe.jauhiainen@kela.fi
  7. 7. Life on basic income expresses great diversity • The subproject is based on interviews with 81 basic income recipients • Some interviewees portrayed basic income as having affected their labour market behaviour largely, while others described it as having had only marginal effects • These reflections were related to the recipients’ diverse premises for employment and life in general 26.5.20207 For more information, please contact: helena.blomberg@helsinki.fi
  8. 8. Life on basic income expresses great diversity • For some interviewees, the experiment provided a larger variety of legitimate modes of participation outside of paid labour • For some interviewees, the experiment created mental pressure to gain employment, which led to coping difficulties • Strengthened autonomy through enhanced possibilities of long- term financial planning, lessened stress related to bureaucracy and activation demands, and improved possibilities of doing meaningful things were reported regardless of changes in employment 26.5.2020 Yksikkö/Projekti/Esittäjä | Esityksen otsikko8
  9. 9. Media coverage and public opinion • Finnish Basic Income Experiment was largely covered in the media, and especially in the international media – expresses and impacts public opinion on UBI • In the evaluation study, attitudes towards basic income after the experiment were measured with a phone survey • In the survey, 46% of the respondents agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement that a basic income should be introduced as a permanent part of the Finnish social security system 26.5.20209 For more information, please contact: katja.makkyla@kela.fi (media analysis) or olli.kangas@utu.fi (UBI support)
  10. 10. Summary • Positive effects of UBI were observed more often than negative ones • The heterogenity of the treatment group becomes most visible in the interview study • Results are in accordance with results from other earlier experiments implemented in other countries (e.g. Canada, US, Netherlands) – greater effect on wellbeing than employment • As regards employment, financial support system plays a central role, but alone it is not sufficient to significantly promote either labour supply or demand 26.5.202010
  11. 11. Thank you! olli.kangas@utu.fi miska.simanainen.kela.fi signe.jauhiainen@kela.fi minna.ylikanno@kela.fi