We use simulation to model population changes over time, and to test 'what-if' scenarios.

COMPASS has been a strong proponent of microsimulation techniques for many years. Our early efforts in the area brought international visitors Nigel Gilbert, Klaus Troitzsch, and Martin Spielauer, and led to two projects headlined by PhD theses using New Zealand Census data.

We continued in this area with a project focusing on the early life-course and utilising longitudinal studies in New Zealand, the Christchurch Health & Development Study and the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study. The main output of this was a piece of software connecting Java and R to enable end-users to test what-if scenarios around policy direction.

Yet more recent work with the advent of "R Shiny" has made our outputs more capable and user friendly, and we look forward to yet further improvements in the future.


Vulnerable Children Investment Approach

What indicators suggest poor childhoods? What childhood indicators suggest poor life outcomes? What are the life experiences of those that were "vulnerable children"? We examine these concepts in a microsimulation tool enabling testing of policy scenarios.

New Zealand as a social laboratory

We use the New Zealand Longitudinal Census to create models of changes over time, and use these in a microsimulation model that attempts to recreate what happened to the New Zealand population between 1981 and 2006, and to explore forecasting.



Developing a knowledge laboratory of the early life-course using systematic reviews and meta analyses

We identify key determinants of child/adolescent outcomes, and integrate estimates from systematic reviews and meta-analyses into a working model of the early life-course, extending the context of our previous work, and the term to age 21.

A Modelling Tool to Improve the Policy Response on Issues Concerning Children and Young People

We use New Zealand longitudinal studies to create models of changes per year in a number of variables, and work these into a microsimulation model of the first 13 years of life, focusing on aspects of social wellbeing, and enabling scenario testing.

The Balance of Care in an Ageing Society

We use the New Zealand Health Survey and post-censal Disability Surveys to describe the experience of long-term, disabling, and chronic conditions, and to forecast the ongoing impact of these in the later life-course, in the face of an ageing population.

Primary care in an ageing society: a modelling approach

We use the New Zealand Health Survey and the National Primary Medical Care Survey to create a simulation model of the primary healthcare system, and to test its performance under different scenarios of demographic ageing in New Zealand.

Modelling residential segregation: an empirical and simulation-based study

We use New Zealand Census data sets and advanced modelling techniques to simulate changes over time in residential segregation, and its patterns, causes, and consequences.

Modelling social change in New Zealand: Social Simulation Applied to a Census 'test-bed'

We use New Zealand Census data to examine changes in partnership behaviour over time, looking at who partners with whom on the basis of ethnicity and education, and testing hypotheses about New Zealand's changing social structure.