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Finland’s universal basic income (UBI) experiment did not help unemployed people get jobs, according to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).
The UBI, also known as basic income, is a system wherein the government gives a fixed monthly financial assistance to all citizens regardless of their employment status. Countries that had previously implemented UBI trials include Kenya, Italy, and the Netherlands.
Finland’s trial, however, used a variation of this system. Instead of making the UBI available to everyone, the Finnish government gave money only to some people who are out of a job. This was done to see if the UBI would help unemployed people find work.
The experiment involved 7,000 jobless Finns who received unemployment benefits from the government. Starting January 2017 until December 2018, 2,000 of the participants were given €560 (around $630) every month. During the same time, 5,000 unemployed Finns got only non-monetary assistance.
According to Kela’s assessment, the UBI did not encourage those who received money to find jobs more than those who received only non-monetary benefits. Nonetheless, the UBI made the recipients much happier and healthier, which had a positive impact on their overall well-being.
Despite the results, one researcher believes that the experiment was not a failure. He argued that the trial provided more useful information about the UBI.
Kela continues to analyze the study’s findings to further assess the advantages and limitations of implementing a UBI scheme. The experiment’s final report is set to be published in 2020.