California’s Y Combinator Leading Basic Income Test

A Silicon Valley company will give thousands of people in two states cash handouts to branch out its universal basic income test, CNBC reported.

Y Combinator’s Basic Income Project will select people at random to compare how one group of 1,000, who receive $1,000 a month, behave compared with a second group of 2,000 who receive $50 a month.

The test will run for up to five years. The states involved were not identified.

Y Combinator’s president, Sam Altman, has been one of the Silicon Valley tech executives – along with billionaires including Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Richard Branson – to support the idea of a basic income regardless of employment status, CNBC reported.

The startup has already piloted a study of the effects of introducing a basic income in Oakland, Calif., CNBC reported.

“A randomized trial is considered one of the best ways to evaluate the impact of a proposed social policy,” Elizabeth Rhodes, research director for the project, said in a blog post.

“By comparing a group of people who receive a basic income to an otherwise identical group of people who do not, we can isolate and quantify the effects of a basic income.”

“We view this experiment as a strong foundation for a broad research agenda on basic income,” she added.

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