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Life after Work: The Impact of Basic Income on Nonemployment Activities

  • David Calnitsky, Jonathan P. Latner and Evelyn L. Forget

Abstract

Basic income experiments tend to show some decline in work hours, but less is known about how that nonwork time is spent. This article uses data from a randomized controlled trial of a guaranteed annual income to examine the activities of recipients who left the labor force for some amount of time. In particular, we analyze the reasons respondents gave for not working. We find that the intervention led to growth in care work activities and education, especially among women, moderate growth in self-employment, relatively strong growth in the portion of men and women simply reporting that they did not want to work, and the strongest growth in nonemployment connected to dissatisfaction with work/job conditions. Finally, the sole nonemployment category that declines as a result of the experiment is health-related reasons for not working.

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