The Finland Basic Income Study had it’s preliminary results released last year and the biggest takeaway was it did not increase the employment of those receiving it in any meaningful way. But it’s been another year and the final results have not been released; so what did they learn?
It seems that while it did not increase the likelihood of employment by any significant margin; those receiving the benefit worked an additional 6 more days out of the year than the control group. Which means it also did not discourage them from getting work – one of the biggest arguments against a Universal Basic Income.
That’s a big blow to opponents of the idea; and it’s only the first. Because the other major result is an improvement in the mental health of those receiving the benefit. According to the report the respondents who received a basic income had a more positive perception of their income and economic well-being than the control group. They were more likely to find that their financial situation is manageable and that they are protected financially, so says Minna Ylikännö, Head of the Research Team at Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland).
So if the goal of Universal Basic Income is to get people employed, it seems it is not the sole solution; but it will certainly improve their mental health while other solutions are implemented. With so much international attention being given to mental health issues and finding initiatives to improve it – this seems like a no-brainer.
See all the information from the report at kela.fi