A new New Zealand static microsimulation model – challenges with data

Rissa Ota
Ministry of Social Development

Helen Stott
Ministry of Social Development

The New Zealand Ministry of Social Development has been developing a new static microsimulation model of the national tax and transfer system. The survey data used for the simulation is Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE), which has a rich source of information about income, employment, benefits and family structure changes along the interview year. The 2002/3 survey data is the first wave of a longitudinal survey which will be carried out for eight years.

As the primary use of the database will be modelling changes to the income support system, the primary focus is on benefit recipients and low income families. This paper gives an overview of the development of the database, with emphasis on the data synthesis, imputation and calibration of the beneficiary population. Calibration using generalised regression estimators has enabled a wide range of benchmarks to be used. However, there have been a range of challenges encountered along the way, including issues around updating the data as the benefit system has been undergoing major changes, and the representativeness of the data as the number of unemployed has dropped significantly since the first wave was collected.

Session 2d, Social Data: 15:40 — 16:00, Room 031

Presentation Program