Did you know that in Germany there’s a project currently researching the feasibility of Universal Basic Income? Mein Grundeinkommen e. V. is a Berlin-based non-profit organisation that crowd-funds and raffles off annual unconditional basic incomes (UBI). The organisation first started giving away UBIs in 2015. It collects data from its participants and conducts research about the impact of basic income.
So how does it work?
In August 2020, Mein Grundeinkommen launched the first of three pilot schemes, and to date it is the largest independent academic research project into the effects of UBI in Germany. Together with the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Mein Grundeinkommen selected a total of 120 participants, who receive €1,200 a month for three years. This study is the first to be entirely financed by private crowdfunding – it does not rely on the state. It currently has about 140,000 private donors, and suggests there is a growing appetite for new ideas towards money, and how it might work in our society.
The project aims to take the debate around UBI out of people’s living rooms and into a social reality – where it can be tested with empirical social research. The next draw for the second pilot project is open to participate, and takes place on 10th November 2021.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schupp from the DIW is very optimistic about the project: »We want to find out whether an unconditional monthly payment of a sum of money leads to statistically significant changes in behaviour and feelings. We already know from experimental economics that our social behaviour also depends on justice, fairness or equality. Here we have the chance to really check whether people conform to the stereotype of “homo economicus” and if they only act when they receive incentives and rewards for doing so.«
Mein Grundeinkommen e. V. will research such areas as physical and mental health, as well as notions of motivation, fulfilment and happiness. The results could help develop solutions for social care and reimagine how we organise our society financially.
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© Fabian Melber, Mein Grundeinkommen e. V.