Finland – Universal Basic Income

Finland conducted an experiment testing a basic income in 2017-2018. The experiment was implemented by Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

The basic income is a form of social security in which all citizens receive a regular, unconditional sum of money towards their expenses. It is intended to reduce the amount of work involved in seeking financial assistance and to free up time and resources for other activities such as working or seeking employment.

Basic Income Experiment Finland 2017-2018

Because of the nature of the experiment, all Finnish citizens were not paid a basic income. The study population consisted of 2,000 persons selected at random in December 2016.

Included in the random sampling were all individuals between ages 25 and 58 whom Kela paid labour market subsidy or basic unemployment allowance in November 2016 for some other reason than a temporary layoff. Random sampling means that all who satisfied the requirements for inclusion in the experiment had an equal probability of being selected into the study population.

Those selected for the experiment could not turn it down because that would skew the results.

Those participating in the experiment got a basic income from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2018. The basic income was paid out at a rate of €560 per month. Everyone included in the experiment received the same amount.

The amount of the basic income remained the same throughout the experiment, and it was not reduced by any other income the participant may have. Participants who found work during the experiment continued to be paid a basic income.

An evaluation study is conducted about the basic income 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.

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.