Finland's Universal Basic Income Had a Surprise Effect on People's Beliefs


Finland has completed a major trial into the effects of a basic income, and the preliminary results are positive. Recipients felt happier, less stressed, trusted politicians more, and even felt more comfortable on the same levels of income as people that did not receive a basic income.

“The findings are broadly positive, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions,” Luke Martinelli, a research associate from the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath, tells Inverse. “There are some significant results on self-reported well-being and levels of trust in other people and institutions.”

The findings, shared in the Helsinki-based House of the Estates Friday morning, cover one of the most ambitious basic income experiments ever conducted. The experiment, launched by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in January 2017 and that concluded on December 31, saw 2,000 unemployed Finns receive €560 ($634) per month without conditions. The researchers compared their experiences with a control group of a further 5,000.

It’s a radical idea, one that has attracted more attention as a means of making people feel secure in an increasingly automated world. 

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