Study begins in Germany of universal basic income

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A trial has been launched in Germany of a universal basic income that would give people 1,200 euros, about $1,400, each month, according to reports published Wednesday

The three-year study by the German Institute for Economic Research, funded by private donations, will give the monthly payments to a group of 120 Germans, the Times of London reported

Researchers will compare the experience of the 120 Germans receiving the payments with another group of 1,380 people who will not receive the payments. The study is being funded by 140,000 private donations, according to Business Insider.

Participants will reportedly be asked to complete questionnaires about their lives, work and emotional state to study the impacts of the universal basic income.

Jürgen Schupp, who is leading the study, told the German newspaper Der Spiegel the study will help improve the debate about universal basic income by replacing “stereotypes” opponents and proponents of such proposals with further information. 

“The debate about the basic income has so far been like a philosophical salon in good moments and a war of faith in bad times. It is — on both sides — shaped by cliches: Opponents claim that with a basic income people would stop working in order to dull on the couch with fast food and streaming services. Proponents argue that people will continue to do fulfilling work, become more creative and charitable, and save democracy,” Schupp told the newspaper, according to an English translation. 

“Incidentally, these stereotypes also flow into economic simulations as assumptions about the supposed costs and benefits of a basic income. We can improve this if we replace these stereotypes with empirically proven knowledge and can therefore lead a more appropriate debate,” Schupp added. 

In the U.S., former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang pushed a universal basic income program as a key component of his campaign, raising the issue on the national level.

Tags Andrew Yang Basic income Germany Universal Basic Income

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