MINCOME was an experimental Canadian basic income project

My failing, of course, but this one passed me by at the time.

MINCOME

MINCOME was an experimental Canadian basic income project that was held in Dauphin, Manitoba during the 1970s. The project, funded jointly by the Manitoba provincial government and the Canadian federal government under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. It was launched with a news release on February 22, 1974 under the NDP government of Edward Schreyer, and was closed down in 1979 under the Conservative government of Sterling Lyon and the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Joe Clark. The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether a guaranteed, unconditional annual income caused disincentive to work for the recipients, and how great such a disincentive would be.

It allowed every family unit to receive a minimum cash benefit. Participants who worked had their mincome supplement reduced by 50 cents for every dollar they earned by working.[1] The results showed an impact on labor markets, with working hours dropping one percent for men, three percent for married women, and five percent for unmarried women.[2] However, some have argued these drops may be artificially low because participants knew the guaranteed income was temporary.[3] These decreases in hours worked may be seen as offset by the opportunity cost of more time for family and education. Mothers spent more time rearing newborns, and the educational impacts are regarded as a success. Students in these families showed higher test scores and lower dropout rates. There was also an increase in adults continuing education.[4][5]

A final report was never issued, but Manitoban economist Evelyn Forget (/fɔrˈʒeɪ/) conducted an analysis of the program in 2009 which was published in 2011.[5][6] She found that only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less. Mothers with newborns stopped working because they wanted to stay at home longer with their babies, and teenagers worked less because they weren’t under as much pressure to support their families, which resulted in more teenagers graduating. In addition, those who continued to work were given more opportunities to choose what type of work they did. Forget found that in the period that Mincome was administered, hospital visits dropped 8.5 percent, with fewer incidents of work-related injuries, and fewer emergency room visits from car accidents and domestic abuse.[7] Additionally, the period saw a reduction in rates of psychiatric hospitalization, and in the number of mental illness-related consultations with health professionals.[8][9]

In 2015, the country of Finland was reported to be about to perform a similar experiment.[10]

Warning, ideology-driven assumptions at work: “whether a guaranteed, unconditional annual income caused disincentive to work for the recipients and IF SO AND IF MEASURABLE, how great such a disincentive would be.”


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