Individual Preferences for the Unconditional Basic Income in the European Union

  • Lei DelsenEmail author
  • Rutger Schilpzand
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


In representative democracies public opinions matter. In this chapter we analyse the preferences for an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) among a large, representative sample of people in the 28 member states of the European Union (EU). The survey data were collected by online sampling on mobile devices in March 2017. We apply a multi-level ordered logit model and a fixed effects model. On average, almost three-quarters of the people in the EU stated to (probably) vote for the introduction of UBI, if there would be a referendum on introducing UBI. Half of the voters would like to see UBI being introduced after successful experiments in their own country or abroad; one third as soon as possible. The likelihood to vote in favour of UBI varies significantly between groups of people. The effect of awareness on preferences is inconclusive. The national macro-economic and welfare state contexts have significant effects. “It reduces anxiety about financial basic needs” is considered the most convincing argument for UBI. “It might encourage people to stop working” is considered the most convincing argument against UBI. The self-enhancement hypothesis is confirmed. The positive and negative effects of UBI on individual work choices balance out.


Public opinions Stated preference survey Unconditional basic income Referendum European Union 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsInstitute for Management Research, Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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