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Measuring welfare changes in behavioural microsimulation modelling: Accounting for the random utility component


  • John Creedy

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Nicolas Hérault

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Guyonne Kalb

    (University of Melbourne)


This paper presents a method of predicting individuals’ welfare changes (compensating and equivalent variations) arising from a tax or social security policy change in the context of behavioural microsimulation modelling, where individuals can choose between a limited number of discrete hours of work. The method allows fully for the nonlinearity of the budget constraint facing each individual, the probabilistic nature of the labour supply model and the presence of unobserved heterogeneity in the estimation of preference functions. Yet it is relatively straightforward to implement. An advantage of welfare measures, compared with changes in net incomes, is that they take into account the value of leisure and home production. The method is applied to a hypothetical income tax policy change in Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault & Guyonne Kalb, 2011. "Measuring welfare changes in behavioural microsimulation modelling: Accounting for the random utility component," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 14, pages 5-34, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:14:y:2011:n:1:p:5-34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Chapters,in: The Economics of an Ageing Population, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    8. Adriana Arreaza Coll & Luis Enrique Pedauga, 2007. "Determinantes De Los Cambios En La Productividad Total De Los Factores En Venezuela," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 25(53), pages 120-167, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thor O. Thoresen & Zhiyang Jia & Peter J. Lambert, 2013. "Distributional benchmarking in tax policy evaluations," Discussion Papers 765, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault†, 2011. "Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes : The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1121, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2011. "Should Japanese Tax System Be More Progressive?," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-181, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. John Creedy & Penny Mok, 2017. "The Marginal Welfare Cost of Personal Income Taxation in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 17/01, New Zealand Treasury.
    5. John Creedy, 2017. "The Optimal Threshold for GST on Imported Goods," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 50(2), pages 169-180, June.
    6. Iris Claus & John Creedy & Josh Teng, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income in New Zealand," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 287-303, September.
    7. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2015. "Should the Japanese tax system be more progressive? An evaluation using the simulated SMCFs based on the discrete choice model of labor supply," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(1), pages 144-175, February.

    More about this item


    welfare change measures; equivalent variation; compensating variation; labour supply modelling; nonlinear budget constraint;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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