A modelling tool to improve the policy response on issues concerning children and young people

Timeframe

2007–2012


Funder

Foundation for Research, Science, and Technology


COMPASS staff

Peter Davis (Principal Investigator), Roy Lay-Yee, Janet Pearson, Oliver Mannion, Barry Milne, Karl Parker, Martin von Randow, Jessica McLay


Collaborators

University of Auckland: Tracey McIntosh, Louise Humpage


International Advisory Group

Professor Nigel Gilbert – University of Surrey

Professor Laurie Brown – National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling

Professor Klaus Troitzsch – University of Koblenz-Landau

Martin Spielauer – Statistics Canada

Dr Flaminio Squazzoni – Brescia University

Dr Dimitris Ballas – University of Sheffield


Description

The aim of this project was to construct a computer-based simulation model as a decision-support tool for policymaking. This entailed building a model with microdata from existing longitudinal studies, to quantify, for policy purposes, the underlying drivers and determinants of progress in the early life-course.

The microsimulation model was released in a package we called JAMSIM (JAva MicroSIMulation), developed by our computer programmer, Oliver Mannion, an application for the execution, manipulation, and interrogation of microsimulation models by non-technical policy-orientated users. JAMSIM combined R to run the statistical models, and an agent-based modelling graphical tool using Java, Ascape. The basic source code of JAMSIM is now available through Github.


Papers

Milne B, Lay-Yee R, McLay J, Pearson J, von Randow M, Davis P (2015). Modelling the Early Life-Course (MELC): A microsimulation model of child development in New Zealand. International Journal of Microsimulation 8(2), 28–60. Online appendix.

McLay J, Lay-Yee R, Milne B, Davis P (2015). Regression-style models for parameter estimation in dynamic microsimulation: An empirical performance assessment. International Journal of Microsimulation 8(2), 83–127. Online appendix.

Lay-Yee R, Milne B, Davis P, Pearson J, McLay J (2015). Determinants and disparities: A simulation approach to the case of child health care. Social Science and Medicine 128: 202–211. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.025.

Milne B, Lay-Yee R, Thomas J, Tobias M, Tuohy P, Armstrong A, Lynn R, Davis P, Pearson J, Mannion O (2014). A collaborative approach to bridging the research-policy gap through the development of policy advice software. Evidence & Policy 10(1), 127–136.

Mannion O, Lay-Yee R, Wrapson W, Davis P, Pearson J (2012). JAMSIM: a Microsimulation Modelling Policy Tool. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15(1) 8.