Sunday, May 24, 2020

Global Map of UBI Experiments: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Going?

Over the last sixty years, countries around the world have implemented versions of basic income experiments, pilots, programs and policies. Basic income experiments are testing some of the various features of a universal basic income including the regular disbursement of unconditional cash to individuals. These experiments are important since they engage communities in innovative ways, and they also capture information and data on key processes, impact, and outcomes that seek to inform the development of a basic income-like policy. These experiments help us approximate what Universal Basic Income could reasonably achieve if it were to be implemented.

The Basic Income Lab has gathered and cross-checked information on past, ongoing and proposed basic income related experiments for the creation of an online, interactive geospatial map that allows users to have a better understanding of the different design features, implementation arrangements, and research that has been, is being and will be carried out. It also permits the user to compare the different features of experiments and how they differ based on country, region, disbursement amount, and recipient, among others.

To date, very few experiments, pilots, programs or policies capture all of the design features of a universal basic income policy (unconditional, universal, paid in cash, paid to an individual, and paid regularly). The Lab included experiments, pilots, programs and policies that share at least two of the aforementioned features of a universal basic income policy. Those are also the programs that are frequently cited in the literature that attempts to evaluate potential impacts of a basic income policy (see Inclusion Criterion in the Map). Overall, few of the experiments, programs and policies included are universal; all of the experiments are unconditional; the majority are paid in cash and to individuals; and only a handful are Government funded while the majority are either philanthropically funded or paid for through resource dividends.

As new experiments are proposed and innovative research sheds light on the impacts of these interventions, the Basic Income Lab will regularly update the geospatial map to serve as a resource.