Finland plans to give every citizen 800 euros a month and scrap benefits. Will it become successful?


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think at the moment there is no study on the effect of a (substantial) basic income. However, from a microeconomic perspective it sounds like a great idea, since it will remove a lot of incentive distortion for low-income earners. $\endgroup$
    – HRSE
    Dec 9 '15 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ As the answer of Arthur Tarasov points out, it is very unclear what you mean by successful. Please edit your question to clarify this. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Dec 9 '15 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ @HRSE There are studies, see this question and its answers. economics.stackexchange.com/questions/4444/… $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Dec 9 '15 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting, I did not know about the Namibian BIG project. However, it seems this is not quite comparable, since the funds were obtained externally and not raised through a tax in that same region. $\endgroup$
    – HRSE
    Dec 9 '15 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ As well as the question linked by densep, this one also has some relevant material: economics.stackexchange.com/questions/1893/… $\endgroup$
    – Ubiquitous
    Dec 9 '15 at 8:43
  1. It will be successful in increasing economic growth. Removing benefits and giving everyone a fixed sum of money per month will disincentivize voluntary unemployment, remove moral hazard from benefit schemes, and encourage poor people to seek ways out of poverty. Also there should be less pressure on public infrastructure, including healthcare.

  2. It will be successful in reducing the number of migrants seeking refuge in Finland.

  3. It will NOT be successful in making life easier for the most poor and unfortunate.

From economic perspective, it should certainly be successful. It is hard to judge it from ethical point of view though.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ How do you get to these conclusions? Why is there an effect on migration, why is there no positive welfare effect on the poor? These seem completely arbitrary claims! $\endgroup$
    – HRSE
    Dec 9 '15 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ There is also no consensus on economic growth alleviating poverty(if it is not a pro-poor growth). $\endgroup$
    – london
    Dec 9 '15 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with 1 and 3, but I'd like to hear your reasoning on 2. As a note, I think this plan helps the productive poor, but hurts the unproductive poor... which is economically sound but (as you say) some may question the ethics of it. $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '15 at 0:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @kbelder The refugees can get over 2000 Euros per month in some richer EU countries. A fixed sum of 800 Euros per month would be a reduction. $\endgroup$ Dec 10 '15 at 5:52

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