Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles
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Ongoing research : BRAIN-BE 2.0 BAsic Income in BELgium: stresstesting basic income in the digital era



The BAsic income in BELgium (BABEL) project aims to narrow the gap between claim and reality with regard to basic income (BI) outcomes. The project has several objectives. First, it aims to investigate the actual labour supply effects of BI. To this end, a quasi-experimental approach is applied in which we use administrative records to estimate the labour supply effects of BI based on what gets closest to a real world basic income situation: the Belgian Win-for-Life lottery. Second, to gauge the potential outcomes of BI and its different policy versions a comprehensive microsimulation exercise is conducted to estimate the first-order income distributive and budgetary effects of a set of BI proposals and their effect on work incentives in Belgium. Third, by carrying out factorial vignette experiments, the project aims to gain deeper insight into public support for the implementation of a variety of basic income schemes in Belgium, and whether and to what extent public support of basic income schemes depends on the outcomes, financing and implementation details. Fourth, BABEL will pay due attention to the on-the-ground implementation and the technical and administrative feasibility of a selection of basic income policy proposals, and it will gauge to what extent political parties and social partners as gatekeepers in the Belgian welfare state are willing to support the implementation of these schemes. Finally, the project will present a blueprint of pathways for basic income policy proposals that (1) are likely to garner sufficient support by the general public and by social partners; (2) lead to better outcomes in terms of social protection and work incentives; and (3) can inspire feasible welfare reform in Belgium.


Van Lancker Wim, Verbist Gerlinde, Vanderborght Yannick.


Basic income / Employment / Poverty / Welfare state reform.

Research staff

Geels Floriane.