Univeral Basic Income, Finland experiment

A trio of articles looking at the Universal Basic Income idea and recent trial in Finland. Plus link to the Finiland page.

Tiny Indian state wants to pay its citizens a universal basic income | South China Morning Post / WaPo

If successful, the experiment by Sikkim, one of India’s most progressive states, would help alleviate poverty and address the challenge of job automation


Universal basic income in India is a tantalisingly close prospect

Biometric ID cards and the squeeze on the rural poor are propelling the idea forward | Financial Times  


Finland's grand universal basic income experiment raises more questions than it answers | WIRED

Universal basic income might make people feel less stressed but doesn't necessarily fix unemployment


Me: Along with a “job guarantee” idea, UBI started off as a fairly radical idea with now some significant small scale experiments behind it. I’m cautious as to how much other places can extrapolate from Finland, but overall it neither seems to help nor hinder your job prospects, but makes you feel happier. Maybe that’s enough given the highly admin intensive and relatively poor long-term outcomes for the current “job seeker” type benefits/sanctions, despite policy-maker backing.  

“In Britain, intensifying the use of sanctions and introducing harsher penalties associated with being sanctioned has been largely ineffective  at increasing flows from JSA into sustainable employment.” doi:10.1093/cje/bex088 Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) benefit sanctions and labour market outcomes in Britain, 2001–2014 Martin Taulbu et al. (2018)  https://academic.oup.com/cje/article/42/5/1417/4827894

Link to the Finland experiment here: https://www.kela.fi/web/en/basic-income-experiment-2017-2018

Long-term impacts of exposure to high temperatures on human capital

Long-term impacts of exposure to high temperatures on human capital and economic productivity:

“Weather anomalies have a range of adverse contemporaneous impacts on health and socio-economic outcomes. This paper tests if temperature anomalies around the time of birth can have long-term impacts on individuals' economic productivity. Using unique data sets on historical weather and earnings, place and date of birth of all 1.5 million formal employees in Ecuador, we find that individuals who have experienced in-utero temperatures that are 1 °C above average are less educated and earn about 0.7% less as adults. Results are robust to alternative specifications and falsification tests and suggest that warming may have already caused adverse long-term economic impacts.”

Paper link here


Ram Fishman, Paul Carrillo, Jason Russ (2018) (Journal of Environmental Economics and Management)

Comment: the falsification test does mean that spurious patterns are a less likley explanation, there could be other causal effects as correlation is not causation, but the finding is provocative.

It chimes with a recent paper by Isen et al. (2017) finds evidence for a simila r association among 30-year individuals in the U.S. born between 1969 and 1977.  (Relationship between season of birth, temperature exposure, and later life wellbeing).

Summary notes on IASB meeting on management commentary

From Kris Peach, Australian Accounting Board Chair and CEO:

“2nd meeting of IFRS Management Commentary panel broadly supportive of performance, position and progress proposals.

Key issues discussed included verifiability of information, location of management commentary as part of the financial report, how to reconcile neutrality with ‘through the eyes of management’, importance of understanding purpose and components of alternative earnings measures (similar to performance reporting project proposals), conciseness and linkage.

Some concern about asking for management compensation disclosures only when related to performance measures, given all management compensation impacts performance, and suggested disclosures only tiny piece of performance aspect of the compensation.

Support for asking for forecast disclosures where forecast has been made externally. Some wanted more aspirational recommendation to have forecasts. Discussed need guidance on whats in financial statements & whats in mgt commentary (eg some climate change info should be in financials and some in commentary).

Noted need for more explicit consideration of intangibles in management commentary, particularly if not recognised on balance sheet. Also noted importance of discussing what risks eventuated in current year that were noted in prior years. “

Follows on from first panel, which had discussion on purpose amongst other things which is going to back pack in panel 3. Details on the consulting process on IFRS management commentary here.

The Power of Shareholder Votes: Evidence from Uncontested Director Elections

Abstract: This   paper asks whether dissent   votes in uncontested director   elections have consequences for directors.We  show that,contrary to popular belief based on  prior studies, shareholder votes have power and result in negative consequences for directors. Directors facing dissent  are more likely to depart boards, especially if they are not lead directors or chairs of important committees. Directors  facing dissent who do not leave are moved to less prominent positions on boards. Finally, we find evidence that directors facing  dissent face reduced opportunities in the market for directors.We also find that the effects of dissent votes go beyond those of proxy advisor recommendations.

Comment: This suggests that any amount of dissenting vote is an important signal, not necessarily the win/lose results. To me, this shows that shareholders (especially if you are voting on behalf of others) need to carefully consider how they should vote on directors even if that vote looks certain to pass.

Link to paper here:


Aggarwal, Reena and Dahiya, Sandeep and Prabhala, Nagpurnanand, The Power of Shareholder Votes: Evidence from Uncontested Director Elections (March 22, 2016). Robert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS 2609532; Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper No. 2609532. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2609532 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2609532