Testing the idea of basic income

I’m a fan of the idea of basic income, however I remain unconvinced about its feasibility. I would love for it to work but I think some proper research needs to be done on it before it is implemented on a big scale.

Looks like soon enough there might be slightly more data available, as basic income will be rolled out in Utrecht and Tilburg, and possibly a few other towns in the Netherlands. However, substantial handouts will not be provided to all citizens, which is the whole point with basic income, yet only to those who are already receiving some form of social assistance. This of course puts a strain on external validity of the experiments conducted with the data from these regions- can these findings be generalised to the whole population of these cities? Not to mention: can these findings be generalised to other populations of the Netherlands, Europe or other parts of the world?

Interestingly enough, the most commonly cited worry is that a basic income will destroy the incentives to work, just like benefits supposedly create benefit dependencies lasting generations. Well, if this is the case, then families already on benefits are a great population to study, as supposedly they are already disincentivised to work. This means that if the data suggests that basic income does not create disincentives, chances are it will not be creating disincentives in the whole population.

Anyway, I would love to get access to this data some day.

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Testing the idea of basic income

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