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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, @05:54PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 21, @05:54PM (#1214554)
    If I got USD18,000/year tax free for doing nothing I'd probably stop working. Well in theory I might start working on a novel or some coding project. But I might take many years to complete those... Or never... ;)

    Don't forget USD18,000/year goes a much longer way in many other countries around the world.

    Fortunately most US folk will stay in the USA, so you could still make the assumption that much of the $18,000 per person will reenter the US economy.

    But that might not be true for some other countries. If there are no restrictions their people might start having holidays in Thailand, Bali etc and rarely return. Then much of that $18,000 will go to other countries.
  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday January 22, @04:09AM

    by Thexalon (636) on Saturday January 22, @04:09AM (#1214708)

    I will just say, anecdotally, that at one point I found myself with plenty of money, a job lined up to start in 3 weeks, and leaving my old job immediately rather than giving notice.

    Week 1 was great, a nice vacation.
    Week 2 was still pretty good, I got through some video games I enjoyed, read some books, that sort of thing.
    By the end of week 3, though, I was ready to be back doing useful stuff. I think a lot of people who have never been in that position for a long period of time have underestimated how boring it actually is.

    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.