Recent Social Research on Basic Income

A workshop on recent social research on basic income




13.00-14.00: Roosa Eriksson (TAU), "Basic Income in the Finnish and Spanish Parliamentary Debates” 


Abstract: Most case studies on universal basic income concentrate on different country cases separately and there are still few empirical studies that analyze comparatively how basic income is debated in different parliaments. This presentation is based on an ongoing master’s thesis which purpose is to examine empirically how politicians in the national parliaments of two European countries, Spain and Finland, justify basic income and what purpose they give to basic income. The study approaches the question from the epistemic governance perspective and the data consists of plenary session transcripts from the two parliaments over the periods of 2005-2007 and 2015-2017. The presentation will discuss the results of the analysis, outlining how and why the justifications share common features across the two parliaments and the time period but the predominant basic income discourse is clearly distinct in the two parliaments. The presentation will also discuss the currently developing epistemic governance perspective in the light of the study.   


14.15-15.15: Veera Jokipalo (TAU), “Basic Income and Labor in the Laboratory: Applying Experimental Economics in Basic Income Research“ 


Abstract: Economic laboratory experiments are an underused tool in Basic Income research. Lab experiments offer a fitting complement to field experiments by enabling a fine-grained analysis of even the smallest changes in design and circumstances with high controllability, agility, and cost effectiveness. This presentation outlines an ongoing experimental research project on the labor market impact of Basic Income. 


15.30-16.30: Ville-Veikko Pulkka (Helsinki), “Social Security 4.0 – The Future of Social Benefits in the Digital Economy" 


Abstract: A conservative scenario relying on low-risk presumptions predicts the labour market to become more volatile in the digital economy. Though the debate on the future of work remains unsolved, even temporary increases in unemployment and precarious employment will require policies capable of facilitating the adaptation of workers to the digital labour market. If unemployment increases and jobs become more precarious, the most evident challenge will be how to guarantee an adequate income to labour market outsiders in an efficient manner. Efficiency refers to the ability of social benefits to increase the disposable income of these outsiders without increasing net costs. Basic income is experiencing by far its largest wave of support. One of the main drivers of the current global interest in basic income has been the broad public discussion on the implications of digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) for labour. The presentation assesses whether basic income is an efficient policy for addressing the socio-economic challenges stemming from the digital economy. Based on survey data collected in Finland, it will be also analysed whether basic income challenges social legitimacy of conditional and means-tested benefit systems. Finally, the presentation sets out recommendations for the future benefit reforms. 


Photo Credit: Russell Shaw Higgs (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)




Faculty of Social Science

Further information

Further info:
Arto Laitinen arto.laitinen@tuni.fi
Jurgen De Wispelaere jurgen.dewispelaere@gmail.com