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Suggested Citation:"Database Creation." National Research Council. 1991. Improving Information for Social Policy Decisions -- The Uses of Microsimulation Modeling: Volume II, Technical Papers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1853.
Page 168

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FUTURE COMPUTING ENVIRONMENTS FOR MICROSIMULATION MODELING 168 effects of policy decisions and more interested in budgetary consequences, the amount of funding for and the use of microsimulation decreased. In addition, since ma ny of the new budget proposals were aimed only at reducing outlays, government analysts turned to using program data as the basis of their impact reports. This also decreased the need for microsimulation systems such as TRIM2 and MATH. Internal changes and budget cuts at CBO also decreased this organization's ability to use microsimulation systems. By 1983 only ASPE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service were sponsoring large microsimulation development projects. ASPE continued to support the maintenance and development of TRIM2, while the Food and Nutrition Service supported the MATH model so as to continue its research into the efficacy of the food stamp program. In the mid-1980s ASPE took advantage of the greater efficiency of TRIM2 over TRIM and KGB by maintaining the real cost of maintenance contracts and concentrating resources on substantive development of the model. For example, during 1981–1985 the welfare portions of TRIM2 were completely rewritten, and major changes were made to the federal and state master tax routines. When concern about the distributional impacts of the Reagan social program cutbacks began to grow, the Urban Institute was able to obtain new support from private foundations and CBO to develop new master routines and to enhance existing ones. More recently, TRIM2 has played a major role in analyzing the impact of proposed tax and welfare legislation. The system was used very successfully during the tax reform initiatives of President Reagan's second term. It was also used during the debate caused by Congressman Ford's (Tenn.) suggested changes to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program and the follow-up proposal by Senator Moynihan (N.Y) in 1987. TRIM2 was also used to analyze various child-related tax credit proposals, including modifications to the child care tax credit and new tax credits for parents with young children. In 1990, ASPE continues to support the maintenance of TRIM2 by the Urban Institute. While TRIM2 has not undergone significant structural changes in several years, the Urban Institute has rewritten several master routines. In early 1990 a new master routine, HEALTH, was designed and written for the U.S. Department of Labor. HEALTH is able to analyze proposals to mandate employer provision of health insurance. Database Creation As mentioned above, the usual source of data for TRIM2 is the CPS. The CPS surveys approximately 60,000 households every month and provides a rich source of demographic data, such as age, sex, race, marital status, and educational level. The CPS also collects data on industry and occupation of employment, full/part- time employment, and full/part-year employment. It also

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Improving Information for Social Policy Decisions -- The Uses of Microsimulation Modeling: Volume II, Technical Papers Get This Book
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This volume, second in the series, provides essential background material for policy analysts, researchers, statisticians, and others interested in the application of microsimulation techniques to develop estimates of the costs and population impacts of proposed changes in government policies ranging from welfare to retirement income to health care to taxes.

The material spans data inputs to models, design and computer implementation of models, validation of model outputs, and model documentation.

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