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.
Basic Income Studies (BIS) is the first academic journal to focus specifically on basic income and cognate policies and publishes peer-reviewed research papers, book reviews, and short accessible commentaries that discuss a central aspect of the debate on basic income and related schemes.