In The Boston Review this week, our cofounders Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus explained the current state of the evidence on basic income and how our groundbreaking trial fits into the past literature on the subject. Peter Diamandis also wrote about basic income in the context of GiveDireclty’s pilot, writing that GiveDireclty’s experiment is “the largest to date.”
GIVEDIRECTLY IN THE NEWS
1. Why UBI Works
The Huffington Post, Peter Diamandis, May 8, 2017
GiveDirectly is the largest UBI experiment to date. Over the next 12 years, GiveDirectly is running a controlled trial across 4 villages in Kenya, with more than 26,000 participants. In addition to a control group, 40 villages will receive a regular basic income for 12 years, another 80 for 2 years, and yet another 80 will receive a single lump sum equivalent to 2 year’s worth of income. Within each village, everyone — man, woman and child — receives the same equal payment of roughly 75 cents per day regardless of their current wealth.
2. Basic Income Works
The Boston Review, Paul Niehaus, Michael Faye, May 2, 2017
Consequences matter when deciding how to spend 17 percent of the national income. When weighing whether some form of basic income is a good idea, impact is critical: on labor markets, on education, on entrepreneurship, on child rearing, on gender relations, on mental health, on political participation, and on all the myriad other aspects of public and private life that will change if the government gives us all enough money to live.
3. Ontario Launches Pilot Universal Basic Income Program
TriplePundit, Leon Kaye, May 1, 2017
Canada joins Finland and Kenya as the first countries on earth to begin testing universal basic income programs. In Kenya, thousands of citizens who usually survive on about $1 a day will receive an income regardless of whether they work or not. That project, led by the NGO GiveDirectly, is expected to cost about $30 million and will last for the next 10 to 15 years. Earlier this year, 2,000 Finnish citizens who were either were collecting unemployment benefits or other types of income subsidies were enrolled in a two-year program that will supplement their incomes by $610 (560 euros) monthly – and those funds will not be taxed.
CASH TRANSFERS IN THE NEWS
4. In Kenya, Phones Replace Bank Tellers
The New York Times, Tina Rosenberg, May 9, 2017
In 2007, Kenya’s mobile network giant Safaricom started M-Pesa, a money transfer service. That ended up changing how Kimari helps her parents — changing many aspects of her life, and much about Kenya.
5. Yes, giving money to very poor people will make their lives better — just ask Ecuador
The Conversation, Danielle Quijada, May 6, 2017
More than 92,000 people in Queretaro state participate in the Prospera program, through which they receive periodic conditional cash transfers (CCTs) for participating in better health, nutrition and education practices for their families.
BASIC INCOME IN THE NEWS
6. Support for a universal basic income is inching up in Europe
Quartz, Michael Coren, May 8, 2017
No one knows if a universal basic income (UBI) will help answer the world’s economic problems. But a minimum payment to all citizens is being floated as a response to a digital economy rapidly reducing or transforming whole classes of jobs.
7. Finland’s guaranteed basic income is working to tackle poverty
PRI, T.J. Raphael, May 6, 2017
Entire villages in Kenya have been receiving a basic income through a charity program, there’s a small test initiative in the Netherlands, India is considering it, and Canada is rolling out a basic income pilot program in several cities in Ontario this summer.
8. The Shift: Exploring America’s Rapidly Changing Workforce
WNYC, May 4, 2017
If economists believe jobs will disappear due to automation, what should the United States do? Some have suggested that America introduce a guaranteed basic income — the the idea that everyone should receive a regular, unconditional paycheck. Natalie Foster, who studies and advocates for a universal basic income as the co-chair of the Economic Security Project, explains.