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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 12, 2019

Basic Income Experiments in the Netherlands?

Robert van der Veen
From the journal Basic Income Studies


To many in the Netherlands it seems that basic income’s time has come, following the wide appeal of several municipal experiments. These random-control trial designs study the effects on employment, social participation, health and well-being of exempting social assistance claimants from the duties of seeking work and participating in training activities under the workfare-oriented Participation Act. In some treatment groups, claimants also retain a larger percentage of earnings, thereby reducing the poverty trap. These two design features resemble an unconditional basic income. I situate the experiments in the wider context of basic income and discuss their theoretical background and policy orientation. Under existing legal strictures, the experimental designs are too limited to judge the effects of replacing the conditional scheme of social assistance by an unconditional one. Yet these experiments point the way for future trials which can compare the effectiveness of basic income-oriented versus workfare-oriented treatments.


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Published Online: 2019-02-12

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