The Journal of Social Policy has published an article by Young-Kyu Shin, Teemu Kmppainen and Katai Kuitto, ‘Precarious Work, Unemployment Benefit Generosity and Universal Basic Income Preferences: A Multilevel Study on 21 European Countries’
The idea of universal basic income (UBI) has been attracting increasing attention globally over recent years. However, research on the individual and institutional determinants of UBI support is scarce. The present study attempts to fills this gap by analysing workers’ attitudes towards UBI schemes in 21 European welfare states and focusing on the roles of precarious work (i.e. part-time work, temporary employment, low-skilled service employment, and solo self-employment) and unemployment benefit generosity (i.e. net replacement rate, payment duration, and qualifying period). We estimate fixed and random effects logistic models by merging country-level institutional data with the European Social Survey Round 8 data collected in 2016. The findings show that temporary employment is associated with positive attitudes towards UBI schemes, whereas other types of precarious work do not have significant influences. In addition, the results reveal that the more generous a country’s unemployment benefits, the less likely are workers in that country to support UBI schemes.
For further details of the article, click here
FEPS (the Foundation for European Progressive Studies) has published the results of a wide-ranging opinion survey:
Across the EU14 a plurality of citizens support the idea of universal basic income. Respondents who fully agree (24%) and are somewhat supportive (22%) led to a combined total of 46 per cent. Those who are fully opposed (15%) and somewhat opposed (14%) were 29 per cent of the total sample.
At the Member State level, support for UBI is highest in Germany (62%) and lowest in Portugal (35%). These numbers are in line with our previous survey results that showed currently Portuguese have greater faith in the promise of hard work and entrepreneurship than Germans. …
The public is only just beginning to form opinions on this matter. Awareness is largely driven by the media with attention-grabbing headlines capturing the public’s imagination as politicians warily enter the debate.
This burgeoning understanding about UBI’s meaning and real-life application is reflected in the largely even spread of responses across the agree to disagree spectrum. It is also seen in the fact that every fourth respondent (25%) did not have an opinion about or have mixed feelings toward UBI. …
To read the full report, click here. The section on Basic Income starts on page 66.
Readers might like to compare the results with those of a more detailed survey conducted in 2017.
At a presentation on Wednesday 6th May, Kela, the Finnish social security agency, gave further results from the first year of its Basic Income experiment.
The trial group was 2,000 randomly selected unemployed individuals who had their unemployment benefit made unconditional for a period of two years. A control group of 173,000 unemployed individuals had no changes made to their unemployment benefit.
During the first year of the trial there was no statistically significant change in employment market activity among the trial sample. Analysis of the data generated by the second year of the experiment has now shown that, for the trial group, employment rose on average by six days between November 2017 and October 2018. Larger increases were experienced by families with children, and by individuals whose mother tongue was not Finnish. Evaluation of the second year’s employment data had been complicated by the implementation of a more activation-oriented social security system for unemployed individuals half way through the experiment, which means that changes in employment market behaviour will have been affected by various consequences of the new policy as well as by the unconditionality of the trial group’s unemployment benefit.
The response rate to survey questions about wellbeing was predictably low, but it had still been possible to conclude that, compared with 5,000 randomly selected individuals from the control group, the trial group had experienced a higher rate of generalised trust, less stress, less depression, less bureaucracy, less financial stress, and better cognitive functioning.
From interviews with 81 recipients of the Basic Income, it was discovered that some had experienced a wider variety of participation in society outside employment, and that a sense of autonomy had increased.
The researchers had concluded that wellbeing effects were more significant than employment market effects, which mirrored results from experiments with different but similar mechanisms in Canada and the Netherlands.
A telephone survey to gauge public opinion after the experiment had found that 46% of respondents believed that a Basic Income should be introduced.
The discussion that followed the presentation explored the definition of Basic Income, whether different experiments could be compared if they were experimenting with different things, the importance of a secure layer of income, how long it would take to implement a Basic Income, the importance of social experiments, whether a Basic Income would make people lazy, and the extent to which the effects of a nationwide and permanent implementation of a Basic Income scheme would differ from those of a two year experiment.
Still to do: a report in English; a report on experiment participants’ use of other social benefits and services; and a study of the reasons for individuals with a non-Finnish mother tongue had been disproportionately enabled by their Basic Incomes to gain new skills and find employment.
To see a recording of the presentation, click here.
The final report can be found here. An English summary will be found on the last few pages, starting on page 187.
Social Europe has published an article about the results by Philippe Van Parijs
The Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex has published new microsimulation research on the feasibility of a Recovery Basic Income in the UK, and on the feasibility of a continuing Basic Income after the current crisis is over: Evaluation of a Recovery Basic Income, and of a sustainable revenue neutral Citizen’s Basic Income, with an appendix relating to different Universal Credit roll-out scenarios
Abstract: A Citizen’s Basic Income, sometimes called a Basic Income, a Universal Basic Income, or a Citizen’s Income, is an unconditional and nonwithdrawable income paid to every individual. There have been calls during the coronavirus crisis for both an Emergency Basic Income (an immediate Basic Income to protect individuals’ incomes) and for a Recovery Basic Income (a Basic Income to be implemented with a view to preventing a recession once the virus outbreak begins to subside), and also for a permanent Citizen’s Basic Income scheme. This working paper summarises the results of microsimulation research on a Recovery Basic Income and on a subsequent sustainable revenue neutral Citizen’s Basic Income. An appendix studies the implementation of a Citizen’s Basic Income scheme in the context of different Universal Credit roll-out assumptions.
Picture credit to: Business Insider
Finland’s Basic Income Experiment was the world’s first statutory, nationwide and randomized basic income experiment. That experiment, in which preliminary results have already been reported on, several research questions were asked: How did the Basic Income Experiment affect participants’ employment? What were the effects on health, livelihoods and experiences of government bureaucracy? In interviews, how do the participants perceive the significance of the experiment in their lives?
The final results of the basic income experiment will be released on Wednesday, May 6th 2020, online. In this webcast, researchers present findings of the basic income experiment on employment and well-being of the participants.
The results presented are based on an analysis register data from both pilot years as well as on face-to-face interviews with the participants in the experiment. In addition, survey data has been analyzed more comprehensively than before.
The webcast will be held, in Finnish, from 1 pm to 2:15 pm and, in English, from 2:20 pm to 3:00 pm (Finnish time, GMT+3). The webcast is open to anyone interested.