The Town With No Poverty

MINCOME, a Canadian Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) field experiment ran in the province of Manitoba between 1974 and 1979, and ended with no final report and no analysis of data from the saturation site. This essay uses a quasi-experimental design and routinely collected health administration data to revisit outcomes for the saturation site. We found a significant reduction in hospitalization, especially for admissions relate d to mental health and to accidents and injuries, relative to the matched comparison group. Physician contacts for mental health diagnoses fell relative to the comparison group. A greater proportion of high school students continued on to grade 12. We found no increase in fertility, no increase in family dissolution rates and no improvement in birth outcomes. Our results document the value of health administration data for historical analysis, and demonstrate that a relatively modest GAI can improve population health suggesting the possibility of health system savings.

Ben Bergman is a University of Manitoba Computer Engineering graduate, a software developer at Tenable Network Security, and an electronics hobbyist (creator of the world’s smallest Nintendo controller).

The video for this event has not yet been released.