Distributing free money to the unemployed improves their well-being, but doesn’t appear to have any significant impact on their job prospects.
That’s according to the preliminary results of a landmark experiment in Finland, the first country in the world to trial a basic income at a national level.
The Nordic social welfare champion spent the last two years handing out 560 euros ($635) per month to a randomly selected group of 2,000 jobless people aged between 25 and 58. The basic aim was to explore new ways of distributing social security in a world where more workers are threatened by automation and fewer are likely to take on traditional nine-to-five jobs. The current system is seen as too bureaucratic and often dissuades people from taking on temporary or part-time work.
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