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Reweighting Household Surveys for Tax Microsimulation Modelling: An Application to the New Zealand Household Economic Survey


  • John Creedy

    () (The University of Melbourne)

  • Ivan Tuckwell

    (New Zealand Treasury)


This paper reports a reweighting exercise for the New Zealand Household Economic Survey, which is the basis of the Treasury’s microsimulation model, TaxMod. Comparisons of benefit expenditures in a variety of demographic groups, along with population data, reveal that TaxMod estimates differ substantially from totals based on administrative data, when the weights provided by Statistics New Zealand are used. After describing the method used to compute new weights, the calibration requirements are reported. These relate to the age structure of the population and the number of beneficiaries for Unemployment Benefit, Domestic Purposes Benefit, Invalid’s and Sickness Benefits and Family Support and Tax Credits. The revised weights and expenditure estimates are reported and the resulting distribution of income examined. The new weights are found to produce much improved expenditure estimates, while having little effect on the resulting income distribution. The effects of reweighting are demonstrated using a simple policy simulation.

Suggested Citation

  • John Creedy & Ivan Tuckwell, 2004. "Reweighting Household Surveys for Tax Microsimulation Modelling: An Application to the New Zealand Household Economic Survey," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(1), pages 71-88, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:71-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2000. "An Evaluation of Inertia Models of Unemployment," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 33(3), pages 205-220.
    2. Russell Ross & Peter Saunders, 1990. "The Labour Supply Behaviour of Single Mothers and Married Mothers in Australia," Discussion Papers 0019, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    3. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-125, May.
    4. Harris, Mark N, 1996. "Modelling the Probability of Youth Unemployment in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(217), pages 118-129, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bourguignon, François & Bussolo, Maurizio, 2013. "Income Distribution in Computable General Equilibrium Modeling," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    2. Michal Myck & Mateusz Najsztub, 2015. "Data and Model Cross-validation to Improve Accuracy of Microsimulation Results: Estimates for the Polish Household Budget Survey," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 8(1), pages 33-66.
    3. Miriam Hortas Rico & Jorge Onrubia Fern·ndez, 2014. "Renta personal de los municipios espanoles y su distribuciÛn: MetodologÌa de estimaciÛn a partir de microdatos tributarios," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2014-12, FEDEA.
    4. Miriam Hortas-Rico & Jorge Onrubia & Daniele Pacifico, 2013. "Personal Income Distribution at the Local Level. An Estimation for Spanish Municipalities Using Tax Microdata," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1314, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

    More about this item


    Labor Force and Employment; Size; and Structure (by industry; occupation; demographic characteristics; etc.) Survey Methods Model Evaluation and Testing;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection


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