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).  

Economists have long understood that the most direct way to address poverty was through cash transfers from higher to lower income households.  Under a NIT, a family is guaranteed a certain minimum level of income.  A portion of any wages/salary received above that amount is taxed, usually at progressively higher rates.

Economists also expect cash transfers and taxation affect the incentive to work and other decisions such as savings, investment in education, etc. The focus of MINCOME was to evaluate the work behaviour of recipients under various guarantee levels and tax rates.  Other aspects of the study were to study the impact of the GAI on family stability, consumer purchases, investments in housing, and participation in education.

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).  The Dauphin site has captured the public imagination as representative of MINCOME… in fact, the data from Winnipeg and rural Manitoba are much more important in testing the core ideas of a GAI.

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. 

Technical Manuals


The MINCOME user manual presents the relevant technical details of the experiment and documentation.  Other manuals present aspects of the experiment

These papers consist of the Technical Reports of the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment and are available online at the University of Manitoba Libraries Dataverse at Download .

Technical report no.  1 – The objectives and design of the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment, Derek Hum, Michael E. Laub and Brian J. Powell.  1979.  69 p.  Download

Technical report no.  2 – The sample design and assignment model of the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment, Derek Hum.  1979.  65 p. Download

Technical report no.  3 – The design of the payments system of Mincome Manitoba, Derek Hum, David crest, David Kormus.  1979.  35 p. Download

Technical report no.  4 – The administration of the payments system of Mincome Manitoba, David Crest. 1979. 69 p. Download

Technical report no.  5 – An evaluation of the experimental sample of Mincome Manitoba, Mordecai Kurz.  1979?  68 p. Download

Technical report no.  6 – Sample development over time, participation and attrition, Donald Sabourin.  1979.  81 p. Download

Technical report no.  7 – An analysis of non-response to the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment, Donald Sabourin, Derek Hum.  1979. 58 p. Download

Technical report no.  8 – Program participation in the saturation site of the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment, Donald Sabourin, Derek Hum, William Harrar, and Alexander Basilevsky.  1979.  60 p.  Download

Technical report no.  9 – Income reporting behaviour in a negative income tax program: a comparison of retrospective and prospective reporting methods in Mincome Manitoba, Alexander Basilevsky. 1979. 45 p. Download

Technical report no.  10 – The accuracy of income reporting in Mincome Manitoba, Alexander   Basilevsky.  1979.  35 p. Download

Technical report no. 11 – Issues in the administration of Mincome Manitoba: three preliminary assessments, Carol Billet. David Komus, Derek Hum, Alexander Basilevsky and Robert Sproule.  1979.  34 p. Download

Technical Report 12 – Mincome field operations, Edgar Rasmussen, Andy B. Anderson and James D. Wright.  1983  44 p. Download

Technical Report 13 – Quality control and Mincome data, Edgar Rasmussen, Andy B. Anderson, James Wright and Eric Sang. 1983.   34 p. Download

Mincome User Manual V1, Institute for Social and Economic Research, 1983 Download


The code books are detailed data dictionaries for the Mincome files.  They are available at the University of Manitoba Libraries Dataverse at:  Download
MINC1 –  Baseline Summary File

MINC1 contains 91 variables constructed from data in the first major survey undertaken by the Mincome guaranteed annual income experiment – the “Baseline” Survey. The file contains three types of variables: those pertaining to the household (size, composition, etc.), those pertaining to the male head, and those pertaining to the female head. For double-headed households, information on both heads exists.

MINC2 –  Payments Summary File

MINC2 contains 495 variables constructed from the payments database of the Mincome guaranteed annual income experiment. The file consists of a header record of 14 variables for each household, followed by 37 months of records covering the months of December 1974 to December 1977 inclusive, each month repeating the same 13 variables.

MINC3 – Baseline-Payments Data

MINC3 concatenates the Baseline (MINC1) and Payments (MINC2) data. This file contains 750 observations and 596 variables (91 from the Payments data and 494 from the Baseline survey, with some additional header/record information. A family was included in MINC3 only if Baseline information existed and if it had received 24 months of payments.

MINC4 – Longitudinal Labour Data File

MINC4 contains 338 variables constructed from the 11 major surveys (conducted approximately every three months) used to track labour market and other behavioural data. The data comprise 26 household variables, 154 variables tracking 14 variables for male heads for 11 surveys, and 154 variables tracking the 14 variables for female heads for 11 surveys. Double-headed households have information on both heads.

MINC5 – Income and Net Worth

MINC5 contains 445 variables constructed from the data in the 11 major surveys undertaken between December 1977 and December 1977. The surveys tracked changes in financial assets, real property, and income for each of the 11 surveys, conducted approximately every 3 months.

MINC6 – Family Composition and Attitudes

MINC6 has data only from the Winnipeg site and includes 1408 variables constructed from the 11 surveys. There are 287 variables on family composition, 411 variables on male and female head attitudes, and 327 variables on double-headed households. There are 11 recurring cycles of about 35 attitudinal variables for male and female Heads. Mincome collected attitudinal data on such issues as locus of control, housing satisfaction, weekend activity, awareness/understanding of the Mincome experiment, attitudes toward work, and decision-making in the household.


Mincome Data

The six Excel data files for Mincome appear here.

The data are in Excel format with two header rows – the first variable numbering corresponding to the numbering in the code books and the second a variable name. Users may change the name, but should retain the original file with numbering to ensure data checking.

Warning! It is imperative that users of these data read the technical manuals and code books.  These are complex panel data, requiring careful attention to attrition and other sample selection biases common to longitudinal data. 


Economic Council Report

This is the major study emerging from the Mincome experimental data.

Hum, Derek and Simpson, Wayne, Income maintenance, work effort and the Canadian income maintenance experiment, Economic Council of Canada, 1991








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