This volume is remarkable as the confluence of three important streams of research. The first is that of micro-simulation. Fifty years ago, Guy Orcutt had a vision of what could be achieved by the application of simulation methods to the economic and social behavior of individuals. At that time, progress was held back by the lack of computing power and by the paucity of micro-data. Both have been transformed in the last quarter of a century, allowing this branch of research to flourish. The development of tax benefit models, for example, has greatly increased the capacity of economists to advise about the implications of proposed reforms. I can remember in the early 1980s advising a Parliamentary Committee, where, each time a new tax benefit reform was proposed, the secretary would spend the weekend calculating the impact on a handful of stylized cases. Now, the ability to do just the arithmetic on a random sample of the population gives a new dimension to the policy debate, to say nothing of the modeling of incentive effects and behavioral responses.
(2006), "Foreword", Bargain, O. (Ed.) Micro-Simulation in Action (Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. xvii-xviii. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-9121(06)25011-8Download as .RIS
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