Simulating the Effect of Universal Basic Income on Social Welfare in a Gather-and-Build-Game


The effects of basic income, a certain number of coins paid to every individual without conditions, have received growing interest in research in recent years. Real-world studies are difficult to perfom due to their high costs. Simulating them in a multi-agent environment could therefore help to gain information on its influence on economic individuals and social welfare. We extend the AI-Economist’s recently published foundation framework by a simple universal basic income model and train RL agents using Reinforce and PPO to act as an individual in the environment and a social planner to set taxes and the universal basic income to measure its influence on social welfare.