Manitoba basic annual income experiment (MINCOME), 1974-1979

The Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment (MINCOME) was conducted between 1974 and 1979 under the joint sponsorship of Canada and Manitoba. It was the Canadian version of several other income maintenance experiments in North America that attempted to evaluate the impact of a guaranteed annual income (GAI) on the work behaviour of recipients.  The specific form of the GAI tested by MINCOME is known as a negative income tax (NIT).  

The experimental design of MINCOME featured enrollment of low income households in three areas: Winnipeg (the main site); rural Manitoba (a dispersed sample); and Dauphin (termed a “saturation” site). 

MINCOME was terminated by the federal government in 1979 without any substantive analysis of the impacts of the GAI.  The electronic data were archived until 1981, when the federal government determined that analysis of the data should proceed.  The Department of Health and Welfare entered into a contract with the University of Manitoba to create the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) to retrieve, document, and process the MINCOME data for researchers in Canada.  ISER completed this work in 1984 and in 1993, Derek Hum and Wayne Simpson published an analysis of the work behaviour effects of MINCOME. 

Data creator

Laub, Michael E., et al. University of Manitoba. Institute for Social and Economic Research

Gregory Mason; University of Manitoba
Date of distribution
1988 Sep 22nd
Geographic coverage

Winnipeg, Dauphin and rural Manitoba.

Time period

The households in these files are not a random sample, but rather represent a sample of low-income households selected on the basis of information collected in a screening survey conducted in the latter part of 1973. The screening survey identified ineligible households, including households: (a) with a head over 57 years of age; or (b) with an average 1972/73 yearly income in excess of $13,000; or (c) mentally incompetent households; (d) with a language barrier to answering in English; (e) with one or more heads in the armed forces; (f) with disabled adult members; (g) members of a religious order; (h) institutionalized households; (i) employees of MINCOME Manitoba; (j) with more than 5 roommates living in the same dwelling.


Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba. Institute for Social and Economic Research

Date of collection
1974 to 1979
Mode of data collecton


Unit of observation
Household and household head

MINCOME overview available on Gregory C. Mason's website: 

Funding agency

Manitoba, Dept. of Health and Social Development


Hum, D.P.J., M.E. Laub, and B.J. Powell The objectives and design of the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment. Technical Report No. 1, Mincome, Manitoba, 1979

Prescott, David, Robert Swidinsky & David A. Wilton. Labour supply estimates for low-income female heads of household using Mincome data. Canadian journal of economics 19(1): 134-141, February 1986

Hum, Derek & Wayne Simpson "A Guaranteed Annual Income? From Mincome to the Millennium" Options politiques 1/2001, s. 78-82 , 2001

Additional publications listed on Gregory C. Mason's website: 



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