Events; News & Events

The Netherlands: ‘Free Money’ at Studium Generale Utrecht University, October 25, 2017

As the social assistance experiments in several Dutch municipalities will begin this fall, Studium Generale of Utrecht University has organized an event dedicated to ‘Free Money‘.

Studium Generale is a university’s public platform for knowledge sharing and reflection by organizing lectures, seminars and other activities aimed at students and the general public. Entrance is always free and accessible without reservation.

In the Netherlands, municipalities are responsible for the provision of tailor-made benefits to anyone who has insufficient means to support him or herself, and for achieving the purpose of the Participation Act, that is, making recipients independent from social assistance. Several municipalities are conducting two-year experiments, in the context of which they have the option of implementing social assistance regulations in an alternative way.

Each experiment will include at least three treatment groups, who are subjected to various regimes, and a control group. The restrictiveness of obligations between the groups will vary, from a group which has fewer obligations imposed on it to a group which is even more intensively supervised. In addition, participants in a third treatment group may retain a limited amount of their income from work on top of their payments. See the links at the bottom of this article for more details.

Researchers of Utrecht University, one of the four universities that will supervise the experiments scientifically, have been critical about the design of the pilots because of its limited scope and complicated nature.

The experiments, as they are proposed now, raise a number of questions, such as: why don’t we all give a basic income? Is it too expensive, or are there any other objections?

Rutger Bregman (The Correspondent) and Professor Ingrid Robeyns (political philosopher and economist at Utrecht University) will address these issues during the “Free Money” event on October 25, 2017.

Rutger Bregman has written several books on ‘Free Money’ — for instance, Utopia for Realists — and was one of the speakers at TED2017 in Vancouver last April.

Ingrid Robeyns holds the chair in Ethics of Institutions. In her teaching she focuses on normative and applied ethics and (normative) political philosophy. She has been teaching about justice theories and economic ethics at the masters level in recent years. In her own research, Robeyns addresses a number of normative issues related to demography, gender, family, and institutional economy. Robeyns writes for the English-language group blog Crooked Timber and occasionally on her own site Buiten Categorie. She will also be one of the speakers during BIEN’s 17th Congress next September in Portugal.

The event will take place on October 25, 2017. The language is Dutch. Those interested are invited to join the discussion on Facebook event. For more details, see here.


Previous information on social assistance experiments in The Netherlands:

Florie Barnhoorn, “The Netherlands: Amsterdam on collision course over social assistance experiments” (August 5, 2017).

Florie Barnhoorn, “The Netherlands: All that’s left is the action. Where do we stand with the experiments?” (June 2, 2017).

Kate McFarland, “The Netherlands: Social Assistance Experiments Under Review” (May 9, 2017).

Florie Barnhoorn, “The Netherlands: Design of BI Experiments Proposed” (October 26, 2016).

Credit Picture Flickr.com CC Ealasaid.
Thanks to Kate McFarland for reviewing this article.

About Florie Barnhoorn

Florie Barnhoorn has written 10 articles.

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