Basic income experiment

A basic income experiment was conducted in Finland in 2017–2018. During the experiment, a total of 2,000 unemployed persons between 25 and 58 years of age received a monthly payment of €560, unconditionally and without means testing.

Preliminary results: perception of improved wellbeing, during the first year no effects on employment

The first, preliminary results on the basic income experiment evaluation study were published on 8 February 2019.

The basic income experiment did not increase the employment level of the participants in the first year of the experiment. Based on an analysis of register data, recipients of a basic income were no better or worse than the control group in finding employment during the first year of the experiment . The register data are ready with a one year delay, which means that the results for the second year of the experiment will be published at the beginning of 2020.

The survey found that the recipients of a basic income perceived their wellbeing at the end of the experiment as being better than the control group. Recipients had fewer stress symptoms, fewer difficulties concentrating and fewer health problems than the control group. They were also more confident in their future and in their ability to influence societal issues.

The first results are to some extent preliminary, and it is not yet possible to draw any firm conclusions of the effects of the basic income experiment. Results will be published in a series of articles during 2019 and 2020.

Evaluation study of the basic income experiment is underway

A more extensive research report on the first year of the experiment will be completed in spring 2019. Results for the entire experiment will become available in spring 2020.

The analysis will include both a register-based study and a phone survey among members of the experimental group and the control group.

The main goal is to help understand how receiving a basic income affects the income and employment status of the participants. The impact of the basic income on the participants’ general well-being will also be investigated. The experimental group of 2,000 persons is compared against a control group comprised of individuals who were not selected for the experimental group.

Organised by Kela, the project will also involve the Government Institute for Economic Research and other implementation partners.

A two-year experiment

The Government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä trialled a guaranteed basic income in Finland during 2017 and 2018. A working group of researchers from a range of organisations under the project leadership of Kela explored ways in which to carry out the basic income experiment. Legislation was enacted concerning the experiment, and Kela was responsible for the practical implementation of the experiment and for the payment of the basic income. Kela is also responsible for carrying out an evaluation study on the results of the experiment. 

The basic income experiment was launched on 1 January 2017. The experiment ran for two years and ended on 31 December 2018.

The purpose of the basic income experiment was to find ways to reshape the social security system in response to changes in the labour market. The experiment also explored how to make the system more empowering and more effective in terms of providing incentives for work. Further objectives included the reduction of bureaucracy and the streamlining the complicated system for providing welfare benefits.

Publications

Blog posts

Presentation materials

Articles published in Sosiaalivakuutus

Contact information

Professor Olli Kangas, University of Turku, Head of the Research Team, tel. +358 45 138 3790, firstname.lastname@utu.fi

Minna Ylikännö, Senior Researcher, Kela, tel. +358 50 313 8712, firstname.lastname@kela.fi

Miska Simanainen, Reseacher, Kela, tel. +358 50 552 2095, firstname.lastname@kela.fi

Katja Mäkkylä, Researcher, Kela, tel. +358 50 566 8380, firstname.lastname@kela.fi

Markus Kanerva, Managing Director, Tänk (international basic income trials),
tel. +358 40 845 1881, firstname.lastname@vnk.fi

Kari Hämäläinen, Research Director, VATT Institute for Economic Research (register studies), tel. +358 40 304 5518, firstname.lastname@vatt.fi

Milla Ikonen, Communications Coordinator, Kela, tel. +358 50 305 7861, firstname.lastname@kela.fi

More information