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The MicSim Package of R: An Entry-Level Toolkit for Continuous-Time Microsimulation

Listed author(s):
  • Sabine Zinn


    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    High entry barriers might discourage many social scientists from using existing microsimulation software. This article presents the functionality and capabilities of the free and open source R package MicSim which allows performing continuous-time microsimulation at a very fine-grained level from a low level entry point. Hence, the package might also be of interest to people who are new to R. The package implements a generic microsimulation model for a wide range of demographic applications. Its central device is the individual life-course, which is defined by the sequence of states the individual visits over time and the intervals between the transitions from one state to another. The MicSim model is by design a discrete-event simulation model in which a demographic event implies a change in the state of an individual. The considered population is open and life-courses are specified to evolve along three continuous time scales: individual age, calendar time, and the time that an individual has already spent in the current state. The stochastic model of the microsimulation is parameterized with a base population, transition rates, and (if applicable) a population of migrants. Besides stochastic events, the package allows specifying deterministic events such as enrollment of children in elementary school. Example applications illustrate the capabilities of the package.

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    File URL: http://www.microsimulation.orgt/IJM/V7_3/2IJM_7_3_Zinn.pdf
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    Article provided by International Microsimulation Association in its journal International Journal of Microsimulation.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 3-32

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    Handle: RePEc:ijm:journl:v:7:y:2014:i:3:p:3-32
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    1. Andre Monteiro & Georgi V. Smirnov & Andre Lucas, 2006. "Nonparametric Estimation for Non-Homogeneous Semi-Markov Processes: An Application to Credit Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-024/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 27 Mar 2006.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-1187, December.
    3. Josef Brãœederl & Andreas Diekmann, 1995. "The Log-Logistic Rate Model," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 24(2), pages 158-186, November.
    4. Andreas Diekmann & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2004. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce: A Fifteen-Country Study with the Fertility and Family Survey," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 4, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology, revised Mar 2008.
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