Our real-effort laboratory experiment compares an unconditional basic income (UBI) scheme with conventional systems with and without redistribution, respectively. Participants chose between three options: working for themselves, working for the group, or enjoying leisure. Neither the choice of options nor that of work efforts is sensitive to the transfer scheme even though UBI constitutes a natural reference point for participants’ earnings in our experiment. However, UBI significantly reduced income dispersion at only a small cost in terms of forgone production and budget deficit.
© 2012 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co.