Stanislas Jourdan

A basic income for all? Beyond utopia, the reality of several experiments

February 26th, 2012  |  Published in Journalism

In a paper written for the french magazine Basta!, I review several experiments of implementations of a basic income scheme. These experiments provide a lot of interesting facts.

The most famous is probably the experiment of Namibia, in the small village of Otjivero. This one has been reported especially in german newspapers such as Der Spiegel.

This experience was a success in reducing poverty, malnutrition, unemployment while it  increased school attendance, and global wealth creation.

But others are mostly unknown. Among them, a very important one was implemented in Canada, from 1975 to 1979. Why important? First because unlike Namibia, Canada is a developed country, similar to France or UK. Second, because all the inhabitants of Dauphin (Canada) were part of the experiment : this was a “saturation” site. To summarize:

Not only this experiment showed a small effect on work incentive (only mums and students left their jobs), there were less hospitalization work-related injuries and fewer visits from car accidents domestic abuse and mental health visits.

Moreover, students were more willing to pursue their studies beyond the 10th degree.

As this short abstracts tells us, all the experiments around the World tend to contradict classical arguments against the basic income proposal.

You can read my whole paper here [french]. Another good read on the topic is this article of The Dominion: “A town without poverty”

This post is also available in: French

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