Experimenting with Basic Income: Finland and Netherlands

Time: 8.11.2016 klo 13–17.15 (Finnish time)
Place: Kela main office building, Auditorium, Nordenskiöldinkatu 12, Helsinki

Several countries in Europe and beyond are today considering experimenting with a basic income scheme. Finland and the Netherlands are the two countries within Europe that have spearheaded this approach, and have advanced plans to pilot a basic income experiment in the beginning of 2017. Having two countries engage in a similar project offers unique opportunities to learn from each other.

The workshop “Experimenting with Basic Income: Finland and the Netherlands” brings Dutch researchers from Utrecht, Wageningen and Tilburg to Helsinki to explore both similarities and differences between the proposed schemes, to examine the role of basic income experiments in each country, and to analyse the political and policy processes associated with piloting basic income in advanced welfare states. The workshop is open to all interested parties.

The workshop is part of the research program Tackling Inequalities in Time of Austerity (TITA). TITA is funded by The Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland.


Online participation

  • The event will be recorded and live-streamed.
  • Live webcast


13.00–13.05: Welcome — Olli Kangas (Kela)
13.05–13.15: Putting Basic Income Experiments in Context — Jurgen De Wispelaere (University of Tampere)

13.15–14.15: Panel 1: Experimenting with Basic Income in the Netherlands: General Considerations
Chair: Paula Laine (Sitra)
Speaker 1: Sjir Hoeijmakers (Independent Scholar)
Speaker 2: Loek Groot, University of Utrecht

14.15–15.15: Panel 2: Experimental design and implementation: Utrecht, Wageningen and Tilburg
Chair: Paula Laine (Sitra)
Speaker 1: Timo Verlaat (University of Utrecht) & Ernst-Jan de Bruijn (University of Wageningen)
Speaker 2: Ruud Muffels (University of Tilburg)

15.15–15.45: Coffee Break

15.45–17.00: Panel 3: The Finnish Basic Income Experiments
Chair: Pertti Koistinen (University of Tampere)
Speaker 1: Johanna Perkiö (University of Tampere)
Speaker 2: Olli Kangas (Kela)
Speaker 3: Kathrin Komp (University of Helsinki)

17.00–17.10: Comparing Basic Income Experiments: Lessons and Challenges — Jurgen De Wispelaere (University of Tampere)
17.10–17.15: Closing Word — Olli Kangas, Kela


Ernst-Jan de Bruijn has a master's degree in Economics and is currently a PhD-student of Wageningen University. His research focuses on the role of social policies in the behavioral economic view on poverty and comprises of three field experiments including the social assistance experiment of the municipality of Wageningen. He is mainly interested in the psychological and behavioral mechanisms behind the effects of an alternative social assistance program.

Jurgen De Wispelaere is a former occupational therapist turned political theorist and policy scholar, currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tampere and a Policy Research Fellow at the University of Bath. Previously he worked at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. His major research interest is the political analysis of basic income, which was the topic of his doctoral dissertation. He has published extensively on basic income in leading international journals as well as specialist edited volumes. He is a founding co-editor of the journal Basic Income Studies and co-edited Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research (Wiley 2013).

Loek Groot is economist (University of Amsterdam) and philosopher (University of Leuven) and currently Associate professor Economics of the public sector at Utrecht University School of Economics (USE). His research focuses on the economics of the welfare state and the interaction with the labour market, with special attention to the proposal of a basic income. His PhD Basic Income and Unemployment (1999) was awarded cum laude. Other research interests are environmental economics and sport economics. Currently he is working on a project under the working title World’s public goods.

Sjir Hoeijmakers is a 25-year-old econometrician who finished his masters cum laude at Tilburg University in 2014. He advises Dutch municipalities that want to experiment with elements of a basic income in social security, and organizes coordination between the experiment initiatives on an academic, political and governmental level. He is also a frequent public speaker on the topic of basic income in general, and a prominent contributor to the public debate on the issue in the Netherlands. Hoeijmakers has crowdfunded his own 'basic income' in order to independently dedicate himself to his work.

Olli Kangas took his PhD degree 1991 in sociology at Helsinki University. 1994 he was nominated to Professor and Head of the Department of Social Policy at Turku University. 2004-2007 he worked as professor at the Danish Institute for Social Research in Copenhagen. Since 2008 he has been professor and head of the Research Department at Kela, Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Kangas has been visiting professor in Stockholm, Peijing, Sydney, Budapest, Bremen, Odense, Umeå and Uppsala. His research interests revolve around comparative political economy of the welfare state – causes and consequences.

Kathrin Komp is assistant professor in sociology at Helsinki University and a Marie Curie fellow. Her research centers on population ageing, welfare state reforms, and the effects of the 2008 economic crisis. Her Marie Curie project explores the long-term scarring effects of unemployment. Recent publications include an article on how the life-course perspective can be used to better understand population ageing (co-authored with Stina Johansson; forthcoming in Ageing and Society). Komp is on the executive committee of the European Sociological Association. 

Ruud Muffels is professor of socio-economics (labour market and social security science) at the Department of Sociology of Tilburg University. As of 1 July 2016 he became also the Director of Reflect – Research Institute on Flexicurity, Labour Market Dynamics and Social Cohesion at Tilburg University. He is also research fellow at NETSPAR, the network for research on ageing, of the Economic Faculty, and fellow at research institutes in Berlin (DIW) and Bonn (IZA). He was involved in a large number of comparative research projects for the European Science Foundation and the European Commission. His primary interests concern labour market dynamics, income and poverty dynamics, comparative analysis of the welfare state and socio-economic policies.

Johanna Perkiö is completing a doctoral dissertation on the Finnish basic income debate in social policy at the University of Tampere. She is also the vice-chair of BIEN Finland – Suomen perustuloverkosto (the Finnish basic income network) and the book review editor of Basic Income Studies.

Timo Verlaat is a PhD candidate in Economics at Utrecht University School of Economics (USE). Timo has studied economics, political science and sociology in Germany (Zeppelin University) and the Netherlands (Utrecht University). The Utrecht social assistance experiment is part of his PhD project, which is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) under the Research Talent scheme. His research interest lies in behavioral labour economics.