nep-cmp New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒27
eight papers chosen by
Stan Miles
Thompson Rivers University

  1. The impact of Oportunidades on human capital and income distribution: A top-down/bottom-up approach By Debowicz, Dario; Golan, Jennifer
  2. Parallel Sequential Monte Carlo for Efficient Density Combination: The DeCo Matlab Toolbox By Roberto Casarin; Stefano Grassi; Francesco Ravazzolo; Herman K. van Dijk
  3. Conflict Analysis in Virtual States (CAVS):A New Experimental Method Based on the Extensive Use of Multi-Agent Simulation (MAS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) By Sakamoto, Takuto
  4. An Analysis of Benefit Flows in New Zealand Using a Social Accounting Framework By Omar Aziz; Nick Carroll; John Creedy
  5. Impact assessment of alternative reforms of child allowances using RUSMOD - the static tax-benefit microsimulation model for Russia By Popova, Daria
  6. Optimal patent length and patent breadth in an R&D driven market with evolving consumer preferences: An evolutionary multi-agent based modelling approach By Cevikarslan, Salih
  7. EUROMOD: The European Union Tax-Benefit Microsimulation Model By Sutherland, Holly; Figari, Francesco
  8. Развитие методологии предварительного финансового контроля государственных программ регионов России By Bratanova, Alexandra

  1. By: Debowicz, Dario; Golan, Jennifer
    Abstract: In an effort to inform social policy in Mexico, this paper analyzes the effects of a major social program on school attendance and household income distribution, accounting for its partial and general equilibrium effects. Linking a microeconometric simulation model and a general equilibrium model in a bidirectional way, the paper explicitly takes spillover effects of the Oportunidades conditional cash transfer program into account. Our results suggest that partial equilibrium analysis alone may underestimate the distributional effects of the program.
    Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model; Microsimulation model; Oportunidades; Child labor; Income inequality; Poverty; social policies; Public policy;,
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Roberto Casarin (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Stefano Grassi (CREATES, Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University); Francesco Ravazzolo (Norges Bank and BI Norwegian Business School); Herman K. van Dijk (Erasmus University Rotterdam, VU University Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents the Matlab package DeCo (Density Combination) which is based on the paper by Billio et al. (2013) where a constructive Bayesian approach is presented for combining predictive densities originating from different models or other sources of information. The combination weights are time-varying and may depend on past predictive forecasting performances and other learning mechanisms. The core algorithm is the function DeCo which applies banks of parallel Sequential Monte Carlo algorithms to filter the time-varying combination weights. The DeCo procedure has been implemented both for standard CPU computing and for Graphical Process Unit (GPU) parallel computing. For the GPU implementation we use the Matlab parallel computing toolbox and show how to use General Purposes GPU computing almost effortless. This GPU implementation comes with a speed up of the execution time up to seventy times compared to a standard CPU Matlab implementation on a multicore CPU. We show the use of the package and the computational gain of the GPU version, through some simulation experiments and empirical applications
    Keywords: Density Forecast Combination, Sequential Monte Carlo, Parallel Computing, GPU, Matlab.
    JEL: C11 C15 C53 G17
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Sakamoto, Takuto
    Abstract: Conflict Analysis in Virtual States (CAVS) offers a fresh approach to analyzing civil conflicts, which also has significant potential for policy application. This approach, made possible by the use of two computer-based methods comprising multi-agent simulation (MAS) and a geographical information system (GIS), basically consists of observing and analyzing simulated dynamics of civil conflicts. Characteristically, these simulations are run in ‘realistic virtual statesm,’ which are constructed virtually but reflect some of the defining characteristics of corresponding sovereign states that exist in the real world. In short, controlled pseudo-experiments concerning civil conflicts are conducted in a virtual environment that sufficiently approximates the empirical reality. This working paper introduces CAVS and reports on its latest developments. First, the paper gives an overview of CAVS and its two major components: a MAS model of virtual states and GIS datasets on actual states (e.g., demographic distribution, distribution of ethnic groups, etc.). This overview is followed by some illustrative examples of simulation runs conducted in several virtual states that approximate existing states in Northeast Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the Sudan). The paper then details the substantial improvement and extension that the CAVS platform is now undergoing. This ongoing development includes: restructuring and unification of the GIS datasets; introduction of a much-strengthened and more flexible interface between the GIS data and the MAS model; and a substantial extension of the MAS model itself, particularly in its coverage of international and transnational factors. Lastly, the paper describes several research projects currently underway, such as investigations into the effects on civil conflicts of a variety of external influences and interventions. Firmly based on the extended CAVS platform, these projects have clear policy implications.
    Keywords: civil conflicts , Africa , multi-agent (agent-based) simulation (MAS) , geographical information system (GIS) , policy experiments
    Date: 2013–03–18
  4. By: Omar Aziz; Nick Carroll; John Creedy (The Treasury)
    Abstract: This paper presents a social accounting model to examine the entrants, exits and transitions of individuals among a wide range of benefit categories in New Zealand. Transition rates and flows are estimated separately for periods before the global financial crisis (GFC) and periods following the crisis. The data were obtained from the Benefit Dynamics Dataset maintained by the Ministry of Social Development. The model is used to examine, using simulations, the implications for the time profile of changes in the stock of benefit recipients under a range of counterfactual situations. It is suggested that the model can provide a useful tool for policy analysis.
    Keywords: Social Accounting; Benefit Flows; Simulation
    JEL: I38 J11
    Date: 2013–01
  5. By: Popova, Daria
    Abstract: RUSMOD is a static tax-benefit microsimulation model for Russia. The model can be used for ex post and ex ante evaluation of reforms of personal income taxation and social benefits in Russia. In addition, being compatible with EUROMOD, the Russian model is suitable for simulation of cross-country policy transfers. The aim of this paper is to shed light on various aspects of the model. It discusses specific problems arising in the evaluation of unreported income and benefits non-take up in Russia. The final estimates of poverty and inequality from RUSMOD are very close to those based on National accounts; hence, the model can be seen as a reliable tool for evaluating the current performance of the Russian tax-benefit system and the distributive impact of potential tax-benefit reforms. Then the paper provides an example of application of the model an analysis of alternative scenarios for improving the design of child allowances in Russia. Currently, this benefit has a poor targeting performance and varies across regions of Russia in terms of design and generosity, which raises serious equity concerns. Redirecting these resources to the poor by means of better targeting and raising the benefit amounts brings about significant improvements in overall and child poverty indicators even at the current level of spending. The most sizable impact on poverty is achieved by implementing the unified national design of the program.
    Date: 2013–03–28
  6. By: Cevikarslan, Salih (UNU-MERIT, and SBE, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: The aims of this paper are twofold. The first is to analyse the interaction between research and development (R&D) activities of firms and heterogeneous consumer preferences in structuring the evolution of an industry. The second is to explore the effects of patent life and patent breadth on market outcomes. To answer these research questions, an evolutionary, multi-agent based, sector-level cumulative innovation model is designed. The model addresses supply and demand sides of the market simultaneously with the co-evolution of heterogeneous consumer preferences, heterogeneous firm knowledge bases and technology levels at the micro level. In line with the evolutionary modelling tradition, we have a search algorithm-innovation and imitation of products by firms - a selection of algorithm-revealed preferences of the consumers - and a population of objects in which variation is expressed and on which selection operates: namely, firms (Windrum, 2004). Firms compete on quality and price of their products in an oligopolistic market whereas consumers, constrained by their computational limits, act to maximize their utility with their product choices in a boundedly rational way. There is continuous firm entry and exit depending on the competitive performance of the firms.
    Keywords: Patents, industrial dynamics, evolutionary economics, agent-based modelling
    JEL: B52 L11 O34
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Sutherland, Holly; Figari, Francesco
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide an introduction to the current state of the art of EUROMOD, the European Union tax-benefit microsimulation model. It explains the original motivations for building a multi-country EU-wide model and summarises its current organisation. It provides an overview of EUROMOD components, covering its policy scope, the input data, the validation process and some technical aspects such as the tax-benefit programming language and the user interface. The paper also reviews some recent applications of EUROMOD and, finally, considers future developments.
    Date: 2013–03–28
  8. By: Bratanova, Alexandra
    Abstract: Shift to the program planning and budgeting is a budget policy priority in Russia. However, the current system of public programs development and implementation needs to be improved. The research aims at development of methodological approaches for a priori financial control of public programs based on international best practice of the evaluation theory and implementation. Author has formed criteria and algorithm of the evaluation method choice for Russian regional public programs. The algorithm is showing a new approach to address a problem of methodological support of program financial and economic analysis in Russia. It also has a practical significance for public administration.
    Keywords: program planning and budgeting, public program, financial and economic analysis, project evaluation, cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis
    JEL: G28 H5 H61
    Date: 2012–11–01

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