Videos of the workshop “Experimenting with Basic Income: Finland and the Netherlands” are available online. Additionally, Jurgen De Wispelaere has a new blog post describing the promises and challenges of a comparative approach to basic income experiments.

As described in recent articles in Basic Income News, both Finland and the Netherlands will be launching basic income experiments early in 2017. In each case, the experiment is planned to continue for two years, the target population under investigation will be restricted to individuals currently receiving social assistance benefits, and research questions will center on the basic income’s effect on work incentives. Despite such broad similarities, however, the experiments also have notable differences — in both design and political context.


Workshop at Kela

To address these issues, Kela, the Social Insurance Institute of Finland, hosted a day-long workshop on “Experimenting with Basic Income: Finland and the Netherlands” on November 8. Speakers included Sjir Hoeijmakers, Loek Groot, Timo Verlaat, Ernst-Jan de Bruijn, and Ruud Muffels on the Dutch experiments, and Johanna Perkiö, Olli Kangas, and Kathrin Komp on the Finnish experiments.

Videos of all sessions are now available (click on the above embedded links).



Lessons and Challenges

Jurgen De Wispelaere, a research fellow at Finland’s University of Tampere, presented opening and closing comments at Kela’s workshop, respectively titled “Putting Basic Income Experiments in Context” and “Comparing Basic Income Experiments: Lessons and Challenges” (see video below).

In a recent post on Kela’s blog, De Wispelaere outlines three main reasons to engage in a comparative study of basic income experiments: the comparative approach allows researchers to pool information about issues faced in running a basic income experiment, pool knowledge about the effects of basic income, and study the political forces behind the rapid rise in popularity of basic income.

Jurgen De Wispelaere (November 14, 2016) “Comparing Basic Income Experiments: Lessons and Challenges” Kela.



Other Experiments

While the Kela workshop and De Wispelaere’s brief article focus specifically on the experiments in  Finland and the Netherlands, we might note that other basic income pilots and experiments are about to begin around the world. In Canada, the provincial government of Ontario plans to roll out a basic income pilot study by April 2017. The government of France is also investigating the possibility of experimenting with a basic income, although no launch date has been specified. Several privately-funded basic income pilots and experiments are also scheduled to begin in 2017, including those of the Silicon Valley firm Y Combinator (in Oakland, California) and the charities GiveDirectly (in multiple Kenyan villages) and Eight (in a Ugandan village).


Reviewed by Genevieve Shanahan

Photo: Kela office, CC-BY-SA-4.0 Kotivalo

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 512 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News. Now with The Ecological Citizen.