The Impact of Universal Basic Income on Health and Wellbeing: A Qualitative Realist Review

Published: 24 April 2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/kpy6crr94y.2
Sam Brokken


METHODOLOGY The review focuses on critical analysis of qualitative data on the CMOs of UBI/UCT-trials related to health inequalities and wellbeing in developed and developing countries. Following research sub-questions will be addressed: 1) How do context and underlying mechanisms influence social determinants and health outcomes of the population under investigation? 2) Is there a difference in perceived health outcomes between developed (HICs) and developing countries (LMICs) implementing a UBI or UCT? And if so, why? 3) Is there any difference in perceived health and wellbeing within countries (and for whom is it beneficial)? Data Synthesis Strategy and Coding Oliver (2012) suggests using a grounded theory approach (constructivism) as a framework for the realist review is lacking. Data analysis was performed on three levels within the 13 primary selected papers. First, the narrative data recorded by the researchers with stakeholders were coded through an inductive process which led to open coding. This was followed by axial and selective coding in creating themes (Castleberry and Nolen 2018). It is often argued one dataset should be represented by one theme; Gibbs (2018) counters this argument and proposes the use of several themes within a dataset whenever it is needed in clarifying and representing the data. In appreciating the data correctly, a re-code of the same data was performed one week after the initial coding (Miles, Huberman and Saldana 2013). The authors state this methodology to enhance the saturation of the data improving internal consistency. Researchers’ relevant discourse in their findings and discussions were coded line-by-line and analysed through the CMO-approach in retrieving the deeper social and health determinants involved (Jagosh 2019). The data selection, relevant CMOs and their relationships towards the outcomes were put in flowcharts facilitating the uncovering of patterns (Jagosh et al. 2014; Jagosh 2019). The interactions and relationships between the uncovered data are represented by arrows leading to a comprehensive framework creating insight in the deep-layers behind the intervention through ontological reasoning for the CMO (Dalkin et al 2015; Jagosh 2019). Ontological assumptions seek to understand reality (‘what is’) in which we objectified our own perception in recognising what and how things work (Rawnsley 1998; Scotland 2012). FINDINGS Overall, we can summarise the findings for beneficiaries of a UBI/UCT grant in three ontological themes arising prominently in relation to non-recipients or welfare dependent populations: less stigma and shame, financial stability, societal trust and improved health and wellbeing. Adding to this assertion, it was noticed the grant also had a positive effect on the community at large. More gender equity could not be retrieved as religion and tradition impose a patriarchal system.



Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care


Income Distribution, Health, Social Wellbeing, Systematic Review, Qualitative Methodology, Income Inequality, Redistributive Effect