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Study of natural universal basic income experiment shows no moral hazard: Does not reduce labor...

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The Finnish government released the results of a two-year basic income trialon Friday:

  • It didn’t make recipients more likely to work, as many of the program’s supporters had hoped.
  • But here’s the thing: The trial did make people happier...and that’s in a country already rated the world’s happiest by the UN last year. Basically, if you're not actively laughing you're assumed to have just lost your house in an asteroid collision.

The basic income experiment was part of Finland’s search for alternatives to its social security model. Roughly 2,000 unemployed Finns were chosen randomly to receive regular monthly paychecks from the government—which didn’t slash those payouts even if recipients found work.

Other governments were watching. If basic income could encourage the unemployed to take low-paying jobs without fear of losing benefits, states could hypothetically slash welfare costs.

  • The takeaway? “Seems to have been minor on the grounds of the first trial year,” Finland’s minister of health and social affairs said.

If you’re reading, Finnish government, we’ll gladly volunteer as tribute for the next study. You know...for science.

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