Finland has conducted a unique field experiment on an unconditional basic income in order to learn more about the behavioural and welfare effects of the policy. The government-initiated project started with a pre-evaluation study (2016) about the feasibility of different basic income models in Finland. The actual experiment started in January 2017 and ended in December 2018. Researchers will evaluate the experiment in an evaluation project that continues until the end of 2020.
The actual experiment lasted for two years. The participants were randomly chosen from those who received basic unemployed benefits in the end of 2016. In the experiment, a guaranteed monthly minimum income equal to the net level of basic unemployment benefits was paid to the participants, unconditionally. In addition to lessening eligibility conditions of basic benefits, the experimental model increased monetary incentives to go from unemployment to work during the experiment.
In this presentation, researcher Miska Simanainen from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland will first discuss the background of the Finnish experiment and some of the main results from the pre-evaluation study. Second, he will go through the details of the research design of the actual experiment. Finally, Simanainen will provide the very preliminary results on the effects of the policy on the main outcomes related to employment and welfare. The results from the official evaluation study will be published in steps during the evaluation project in 2019-2020.
Miska Simanainen (Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela) is one of the researchers who are conducting the official evaluation study of the Finnish basic income experiment that ended in 2018. His current research interests concern both the politics and the effects of social security and income tax policies. In 2016, he conducted simulation studies on the effects of a basic income in Finland in the pre-evaluation project on basic income. His professional background ranges from policy evaluation projects to the production of official statistics and development of policy evaluation methods.