January 4, 2020

The Universal Basic Income Simulator

Will UBI drain Government finances, force businesses to close or will it be a win-win for all?

Play this downloadable, single user game to find out for yourself in front of your computer or why not gather a group of friends?

UBI means Universal Basic Income and guarantees people who are not in work a basic income level. About UBI people have a lot of different opinions – some say it frees up people and their entrepreneur spirit – others say it makes people lazy. How are we going to pay for it? is another objection.

Quick facts:

Simulates introduction of Basic Income in the fictive country of Lilliput (population 10 million)

Running time: 60 to 180 minutes

Four roles:
– Employees
– Citizens
each could be better or worse off under UBI. That will be up to your decisions.

Requires excel, google sheets or similar.

12 rounds, each requiring six decisions per round.

Explore if it is possible for all to be better off, some or none with UBI!

Try out your own ideas about UBI and those of your friends with this easy-to-run simulation game! See how your decisions affect everyone. You will learn a lot about UBI and your own attitudes!


Can UBI work for all? For the many? A lot of aspects of UBI get explored by playing this game.

  • Does your understanding of how the basic economy works give you enough knowledge to be able to take on the role of government?
  • Does your knowledge of how companies work give you what it takes to decide on the fate of companies after UBI introduction
  • Do you know what you are voting for?
  • Would you leave your job if UBI was introduced – under which conditions? What if many did the same?

Scenes from EARLIER simulation RUNs

Starting point government income
People leave work to go on UBI
Raising taxes seems to work for the government
Only the government win
VAT Income remains while income from work falls…. how did that come about we wonder?

How it works

  • The scene is set in Lilliput – a land of ten million residents
  • Lilliput has decided to introduce UBI in a careful way. You are on a citizens’ panel that gets to make decisions including the starting level of UBI. You can start at 0 if you like.
  • There are 12 turns of the clock, representing 12 rounds to play. At each round you have to make several decisions.
  • The game engine generates a series of graphs which show you the aggregate result of your decisions as each round progresses.
  • The aim of the game is to make the situation after 12 rounds better for as many of the stakeholders as you can.
  • You can try out various strategies as you play the game multiple times.

Based on sound economic knowledge

  • The basic proportions – of government spending, wages, taxes , etc., mirror the situation in Sweden (as we have been able to extract statistics easily from public sources).
  • The game play is radically simplified, but we have worked hard to retain the overall functioning of a real economy.
  • The game play has been approved by economists from the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation to make it as close to reality as possible.
  • You can play many times – each play with different results! This allows you to explore many scenarios.

This Game Includes:

  • One excel file with the game engine.
  • Detailed instructions in -pdf format.
  • One background sheet with the basic figures and proportions that form the basis of the game with links to learn more about economics at national level.

A learning tool:

Key things to learn from the game:

  • Where taxation improves the government income and where not
  • How UBI is financed and the effect on the overall economy
  • Levels of wages and their effect on the economy
  • What can politicians do right?
  • To what extent do voters trust politicians depending on what they see happening in the economy?
  • Austerity as a strategy
  • Keeping wages high as a strategy
  • Taxation as a strategy

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