A major player in Silicon Valley has rolled out an ambitious trial of basic income. Y Combinator, the start-up accelerator responsible for developing companies like Dropbox, Ainrbnb, Reddit and Stripe among many others, will give out cash to 3,000 people across two U.S. states for a period of up to five years.
The incubator has previously piloted a study in Oakland, California to see the effects of giving out universal basic income1 (UBI) regardless of employment status.
This idea has been growing in popularity among Silicon Valley figureheads like Mark Zuckerberg and championed by Elon Musk as a way to counteract poverty and the inevitable job losses that come with automation.
Y Combinator is selecting people at random and will compare the behavior of one group of 1,000 people who will receive the income of $1,000 per month to a group of 2,000 that will just get a $50 per month stipend.
Elizabeth Rhodes, research director at YC's Basic Income Project, explained in a blog post that a randomized trial is “one of the best ways to evaluate the impact of a proposed social policy.
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