Microsimulation as a modelling tool in social sciences has increased in importance over the last few decades. Once restricted to a handful of universities and government departments, as a scientific field it has achieved a new dynamism during the last decade. As computing power increases and data availability becomes more widespread, microsimulation models can be put to hitherto unprecedented uses. Edited by leading experts in the field, this book illustrates recent advances, methodologies and uses of socioeconomic microsimulation in social sciences around the world. It does so by analysing new grounds covered in microsimulation and exploring new applications in traditional fields. As such, the chapters - grouped into five sections: new methods and methodology; pensions; financial crisis and austerity measures; health; and poverty - present recent, innovative and challenging work in various fields that is not just relevant for those in that field, but that might also inspire scholars from the other disciplines to broaden their minds to new and exciting uses of this established methodology.
Gijs Dekkers is Senior Researcher at the Directorate General of the Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium, Research Associate at the Centre for Sociological Research CESO, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and Affiliated Senior Researcher at CEPS/INSTEAD in Luxembourg. He is also chief editor of the International Journal of Microsimulation. Dr Marcia Keegan is a Research Fellow and member of the Income & Wealth Team at NATSEM, University of Canberra, Australia. She is Vice President of the International Microsimulation Association and President of Young Economists Australia. Cathal O'Donoghue is the Head of the Rural Economy Research Centre of Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority. He is convenor of the UK Department of Work and Pensions' Expert Group on Economic Demography and President of the International Microsimulation Association.
’New Pathways in Microsimulation is an extremely useful reference for those involved in the design and the evaluation of tax-benefit systems. Beyond methodological advances, it contains valuable examples from different policy domains, for example from the very timely field of pension reform in light of demographic and budgetary pressures. The authors demonstrate the substantial added value of microsimulations over purely aggregate or representative agent models.' Alain Jousten, University of Liège, Belgium and Maastricht University, Holland ’This volume illustrates the powerful approach of microsimulation in policy evaluation and design. There is a broad review of current applications including the effectiveness of tax-benefit policy, the analysis of poverty, health status, population ageing and the spatial effects of VAT-increases on household expenditures. Those interested in pension issues will for instance benefit from an analysis of the impact of the financial crisis on old-age poverty in Sweden using a model, which allows an interaction between the pension system, the labour market and an endogenous tax policy. Also recommended is a chapter on a stylized model of the pension system in Belgium, which brings out a number of basic properties of the system. However, a comparison demonstrates the advantages of a fully developed microsimulation model. Model builders will for instance enjoy contemplating how far the ideas of estimating block recursive models, and validating models by backwards simulation of a historical period will take us. This book is highly recommended to policy analysts, model builders and readers with a general interest in economics and social science.’ Anders Klevmarken, Professor Emeritus, Uppsala University, Sweden.