Eva Vivalt, is Wealth and Well-Being Research Fellow and Lecturer at Australian National University
Abstract: "Basic income"—the regular provision of unconditional cash transfers to individuals sufficient to cover basic needs—is a tactic to fight poverty that has attracted significant interest from researchers and policy-makers. Despite this interest, many fundamental questions about the effects of receiving a basic income remain. Y Combinator Research (YCR), a nonprofit research organization, aims to help address this absence of data by conducting the U.S.'s first randomized trial. In the experiment, 1,000 Americans will receive $1,000 per month for 3 years. A control group of 2,000 individuals who receive $50 per month will serve as the comparison group for survey-based measures, and administrative data will also be collected for a second control group to improve statistical power and enable placebo tests. The experiment offers an opportunity to inform both the debate over basic income and other questions about the effects of income that typically elude causal identification. This plan focuses on the design of the experiment and labour outcomes.