The Basic Income Experiment will continue for another year – Analysis of the effects will begin in 2019

No half-time analysis of the effects of the Basic Income Experiment will be made, as this could skew the final results. The employment effects across the whole experiment will be available by the end of 2019 or at the beginning of 2020.

The Basic Income Experiment in Finland is now halfway through and it is proceeding according to plan. The 2,000 participants are receiving a EUR 560 monthly basic income payment, which is independent of any other income they may have and not conditional on undertaking an active search for employment.

The experiment was launched in January 2017 and it will continue until the end of 2018. There are currently no plans to continue or expand the experiment after this.

The effects will be studied after the experiment has ended

The purpose of the Basic Income Experiment is to study the effect that simplifying the social security system and increasing cash incentives for work has on the employment rate of the study participants. The effects will be studied once the experiment concludes at the end of 2018.

– The effects of the experiment will not be published while the experiment is in progress, because a public discussion of the results could influence the behaviour of the test and control groups. That would lead to skewed results, says Professor Olli Kangas from Kela, who led the research team that participated in planning the experiment.

– It would not be useful to base conclusions about the long-run effects of the experiment on the effects seen in the early stages.

The study is mainly based on data collected in administrative registries.

– There is a one-year delay before the registry data are released, which means that the results of the effects on employment across the whole experiment will not be available until the end of 2019. When evaluating the effects of the experiment and interpreting the results, we also have to take into consideration other changes in society and social security that were introduced while the experiment was in progress as well as their possible impact on the results, Professor Kangas adds.

In addition to looking at the effects of the experiment on employment, the study will also look at the wellbeing of the participants and their experiences when communicating and conducting business with the authorities. This part of the study will be based on questionnaires and interviews.

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