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posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @01:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the of-course-nobody-ever-gets-bored dept.

Study: Basic income would not reduce people's willingness to work:

A basic income would not necessarily mean that people would work less. This is the conclusion of a series of behavioral experiments by cognitive psychologist Fenna Poletiek, social psychologist Erik de Kwaadsteniet and cognitive psychologist Bastiaan Vuyk. They also found indications that people with a basic income are more likely to find a job that suits them better.

The psychologists received a grant from the FNV union to research the behavioral effects of a basic income. They simulated the reward structure of different forms of social security in an experiment. "We got people to do a task on a computer," says De Kwaadsteniet. "In multiple rounds, which represented the months they had to work, they did a boring task in which they had to put points on a bar. The more of these they did, the more money they earned."

The psychologists researched three different conditions: no social security, a conditional benefits system and an unconditional basic income. De Kwaadsteniet: "In the condition without social security, the test participants didn't receive a basic sum. In the benefits condition they received a basic sum, which they lost as soon as they started working. In the basic income condition they received the same basic sum but didn't lose this when they started work."

The basic income did not cause a reduction in the participants' willingness to work and efforts, say the psychologists. Nor did their salary expectations increase. "In the discussion on a basic income, it's sometimes said that people will sit around doing nothing if you give them free money," says Poletiek, who saw no indications of such a behavioral effect.

What would you do if you were to receive a basic income?


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  • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Thursday January 20, @03:35PM (1 child)

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @03:35PM (#1214185) Homepage Journal

    I have similar aspirations if UBI became a thing. Even if health care became free I would seriously consider leaving my engineering job and trying to take my hobbies professional. I don't expect to earn as much as I do today, but being my own boss sounds really appealing, especially if I don't need to worry about healthcare or starving.

    I believe UBI studies suspect an increase in job turnover and independent businesses. Typically this type of behaviour should be beneficial to the quality of life for the workers: you can leave a job you aren't satisfied with and seek out your life's passion instead of taking the first next job you find. However, the labour market on the whole will struggle to compete. Not just entry level jobs that could be priced out by competing UBI, but high-stress high-paying jobs could lose people like me who are there for the paycheck.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cmdrklarg on Thursday January 20, @10:45PM

    by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @10:45PM (#1214379)

    However, the labour market on the whole will struggle to compete. Not just entry level jobs that could be priced out by competing UBI, but high-stress high-paying jobs could lose people like me who are there for the paycheck.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this would force business to "sweeten the deal" to get employees on board. It would cut down on the workplace abuse, and wages would rise. Wages have been stagnant for decades while productivity and executive pay have soared. Time to rebalance.

    --
    Answer now is don't give in; aim for a new tomorrow.