Experiment in Germany: volunteers will receive 1200€ per month to see what effect it has on them
Eva Deschamps / June 1, 2021
Receiving 1,200 euros per month, unconditionally, for three years: 122 people, drawn from among some two million volunteers, will benefit from this experiment in Germany to promote basic income.
The payments are financed by donations from 181,000 contributors and the project, presented Tuesday, will be scientifically evaluated in a long-term study. Over the next three years, we want to study empirically whether and how the unconditional and regular payment of a sum of money that covers more than the subsistence level has an effect on people's behavior, explained Jürgen Schupp of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the scientific leader of the project.
This is the second such initiative promoted by the Berlin-based private organization Mein Grundeinkommen (My Basic Income). A first small-scale experiment took place in 2017, during which 85 people received 1,000 euros per month. The scheme was targeted at people with low incomes.
No income criteria
In this new project, the lucky ones were chosen without income criteria.There is no requirement for a match; it is up to each individual to see if they can combine these payments with a job. The beneficiaries are single, middle-class people between the ages of 21 and 40. This is the age group where major life decisions are made. We want to know if and how an unconditional basic income affects these decisions, explained Michael Bohmeyer, one of the initiators.
The debate on basic income is dominated by ideological beliefs.We want to know what it really is, he adds. It is also a question of studying whether recipients use their new freedom for the benefit of the community. The project is supported by scientists from the Max Planck Institute, the University of Cologne and the Cologne University of Technology, through psychological, behavioral economic and qualitative research.
The allocation of a basic income, sometimes also called a universal income, has already been tried in other countries but has often been limited to socially disadvantaged people.