Tax-Benefit Models and Microsimulation Methods

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The subject matter of this Workshop is becoming of increasing importance to the analysis of income distribution, poverty, living standards and tax incidence, as well as to assessment of tax and income support policies in Australia. With the release of unit record tape data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the ability to develop sophisticated computer models of personal incomes and expenditures has increased markedly. The models are being applied to analyse the impact and cost of actual government policies, of policy proposals and to track developments over time in family incomes and living standards. With the development of such models occurring simultaneously in a number of research institutes and government agencies, and at a rapid pace, a need to exchange information and techniques and expose the models to peer review was apparent. With this in mind, the Workshop summarised in this Report was organised with three specific aims: (1) To bring together Australian researchers involved in the development of tax-benefit models and microsimulation methods, with a view to sharing common developments, methodologies and difficulties and to highlight the similarities and differences in work currently in progress. (2) In light of the first meeting of the OECD Experts Panel on Microsimulation Models in July 1990, to allow the author of the Australian paper for the meeting (Phi1 Gallagher) to obtain comments on the draft of his paper for the OECD meeting; and (3) To develop a forum for on-going discussion of issues relating to microsimulation model Development, model application, model validation and, perhaps of greatest significance, issues relating to data availability, scope and cost.
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Bradbury, Bruce
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