Experimental study on a universal basic income

The Government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is testing 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. This page collects information and data on the project.

The basic income experiment was launched on 1 January 2017. During the experiment, a total of 2,000 unemployed persons between 25 and 58 years of age will receive a monthly payment of €560, unconditionally and without means testing. The experiment will run for two years. 

Analysis of the basic income experiment set to begin

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

Results on the first year of the experiment will become available in spring 2019, followed a year later by a report which will cover the entire time span of the experiment.

The main goal of the analysis 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 the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the project will also involve VATT Institute for Economic Research and other implementation partners.

Preliminary study to considered alternatives for implementing the experiment

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

The purpose of the preliminary study was to analyse various models that could be used as a basis for implementing the basic income experiment. The experiment itself will evaluate the effect of a basic income in different population groups and produce an overall cost estimate.

The preliminary study was launched at the end of October 2015. The working group submitted its preliminary report to the Minister of Social Affairs and Health on 30 March 2016. The Government of Juha Sipilä then prepared a bill on the basic income experiment which was passed by Parliament in December 2016. 

The research group presented its final report to the Minister of Social Affairs and Health on 16 December 2016. The basic income experiment was launched on 1 January 2017.

Members of the research group

The preliminary report was drawn up by

  • Kela Research
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Tampere
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • University of Turku
  • Sitra
  • Policy institute Tänk and
  • VATT Institute for Economic Research.

The Federation of Finnish Entrepreneurs and experts on municipal affairs, tax law and constitutional matters also contributed to the project. The project was headed by Professor Olli Kangas, director of government and community relations at Kela (firstname.surname@kela.fi).

It was carried out as part of the Government's analysis and research plan for 2015.

Final report recommended expanded experiment

The research team submitted its final report on 16 December 2016 to Pirkko Mattila, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, recommending the expansion of the basic income experiment in 2018 The sample size should be increased, and other low-income individuals besides the unemployed should be included.

Preliminary report evaluated different basic income models

The research group presented its preliminary report to Hanna Mäntylä, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, on 30 March 2016. The report brings together information about different basic income models and about the results of experiments in which such models have been tried out. It also estimates the effects that different basic income models could have.




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Contact us

Professor of Practice Olli E. Kangas,  University of Turku
olli.kangas[at]utu.fi, +358 45 138 3790

Researcher Miska Simanainen, Kela
miska.simanainen[at]kela.fi, +358 50 552 2095


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