m a r t i n @ s p i e l a u e r . c a

s o c i a l   s c i e n c e   m i c r o s i m u l a t i o n   e x p e r t


      I simulate, therefore I am [*]

      Perhaps consciousness arises when the
      brain’s simulation of the world becomes
      so complete that it must include a model
      of itself. - Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

        


  

Biosketch

I am an expert in dynamic microsimulation with 15 years of experience in microsimulation modeling. I have developed or contributed to models in a wide range of subject matter fields including demography, education, saving & wealth, pension systems, poverty and health. I have been engaged in microsimulation projects around the world, including Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, France, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, and the US. I also have provided training and have been teaching microsimulation modeling and programming on countless occasions around the globe. I have published extensively both in peer-reviewed journals as well as publications of governments and international agencies.


Current and recent projects


2015

Kump Nataša, Alesa Lotric Dolinar, Boris Majcen, Jože Sambt, Martin (2015) Dypensi: dynamic pension microsimulation model for Slovenia Conference Paper to be presented at the International Microsimulation Conference in Luxembourg 2015. A detailed project report documenting the model and its application is forthcoming at the Slovenian Institute for Economic Research

Spielauer (2015) Dynamic Microsimulation of World Bank programs and investments to reduce poverty and support development Report in collaboration with The World Bank (forthcoming)
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. This paper aims at assessing the potential strengths and limitations of dynamic microsimulation in the context of ex-ante evaluations of the effects of a wide array of World Bank programs and investments. Dynamic microsimulation is currently applied mostly in developed countries for the study of policies with a longitudinal component like. e.g. the sustainability of pension and health systems in the context of demographic change. In this paper we conclude, that given the increasing wealth of data available for policy analysis in developing countries, together with technological advances facilitating microsimulation model development, dynamic microsimulation lends itself as logical next step complementing conventional data analysis and projections. Our findings are demonstrated by an application example which highlights some of the potential benefits of dynamic microsimulations of World Bank programs and investments to reduce poverty and support development.

Winkler-Dworak, Maria, Thomas Fent, Bernhard Rengs, Eva Beaujouan, Paola Di Giulio, Martin Spielauer (2015) Changing partnership and fertility: Report on the results of the micro-simulation and agent-based approach about the future of family forms. Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations; EU project report
Within the family foresight activities, this report aims to assess changes in family forms in Europe. First, we use microsimulation techniques to investigate the effect of increasing union dissolution and repartnering rates on completed fertility levels for Italian and British birth cohorts. We find that the net effect of union instability is to decrease fertility but the magnitude of the difference depends on the timing of union formation and separation. Second, we use an agent-based model to investigate the impact of gender relations on fertility. Several studies find a U-shaped relation between changes in gender roles and fertility. We present a model that allows for heterogeneity with respect to gender roles, fertility, and fertility intentions. Our model shows a general negative correlation between progressive gender roles and fertility but allows for a slight upturn of fertility within the same modelling framework—supporting the idea of a U-shaped relation.

2014

Spielauer (2014) The relation between education and labour force participation of Aboriginal peoples: a simulation analysis using the Demosim population projection model Canadian Studies in Population 41, no. 1–2 (spring/summer 2014): 144–164. [pdf]
This study aims at quantifying the impact of educational attainments on the future labour force participation of Aboriginal peoples. Using Statistics Canada’s Demosim population projection model, we are able to simulate alternative scenarios of educational change and resulting effects on the future labour force until 2056. About half of the observed difference in labour force participation rates between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian-born population belonging neither to an Aboriginal nor to a visible minority group can be attributed to educational differences. While the impact of educational improvements on the future labour force is significant, the change is found to be a slow and gradual process, as successive young school-age cohorts have yet to enter the labour market and renew the workforce.

2013

Spielauer (2013) Social Science Computer Review in the Simulation Classroom: Micosimulation - Social Science Computer Review [link]
Microsimulation has come a long way from the initial expression of underlying ideas to practical applications. There is a need for such models. Policymakers demand detailed projections and models that are capable of assessing distributional and long-term sustainability issues of social security systems. Researchers aim at adding a micro foundation to macro models, and synthesis to micro level analysis. Responding to these needs, microsimulation is currently entering the standard toolkit of social sciences and can increasingly be found in university curricula. Training is not only required for producers of microsimulation models but also for potential users. In addition, training can be added to the list of purposes of good microsimulation models. Just as pilots are trained on flight simulators, why should policy makers not be trained to improve their awareness by computer simulations of policy effects? The collection of papers presented in this Simulation Classroom introduces into microsimulation and samples models in a wide range of applications including health care, poverty, household projections, retirement, child support, and disaster relief.

Spielauer (2013) The relation between education and labour force participation of Aboriginal peoples: a simulation analysis using the Demosim population projection model - Report for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada [pdf]
This study aims at quantifying the impact of educational attainments on the future labour force participation of Aboriginal peoples. Using Statistics Canada’s Demosim population projection model, we are able to simulate alternative scenarios of educational change and resulting effects on the future labour force until 2056. About half of the observed difference in labour force participation rates between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian born population neither belonging to an Aboriginal nor to a visible minority group can be attributed to educational differences. Following a “medium growth – recent trend” scenario, over the next four decades population growth of Aboriginal peoples would result in an 45% increase in size of its labour force if relative educational differences persist. In education scenarios which close the educational gap, this number would increase by almost 70%. At the same time, the composition of the future Aboriginal peoples’ labour force would be dramatically different. While the impact of educational improvements on the future labour force is significant, the change is found to be a slow gradual process as successive young school-age cohorts have yet to enter the labour market and renew the workforce.

Schilling, Spielauer (2013) Microsimulation scoping study for Early Childhood Education - New Zealand Institute for Economic Research - Report to the Ministry of Education
This scoping study describes microsimulation modelling and its current and potential applications to early childhood education. It includes an overview of social science microsimulation and how it works, various case studies, a discussion of advantages and disadvantages of microsimulation, a survey of models with focus on education, a discussion of how microsimulation could be used in ECE, lessons learned from other models, and both ideas for a prototype model as well as a broader vision of microsimulation in New Zealand.

Spielauer et.al. (2013) The LifePaths Microsimulation Model: An Overview - Statistics Canada [pdf] [html]
LifePaths is a dynamic longitudinal microsimulation model of individuals and families. Using behavioural equations estimated using a variety of historical micro-data sources, LifePaths creates statistically representative samples consisting of complete lifetimes of individuals. The model's behavioural equations generate, at sub-annual resolution, the discrete events that together constitute an individual's life history. In addition to its longitudinal capabilities, a complete set of overlapping cohorts allow LifePaths to produce accurate and representative cross-sectional results from the year 1971 onwards.
LifePaths is used to analyze, develop, and cost government programs that have an essential longitudinal component, in particular those whose nature requires evaluation at the individual or family level. It can also be used to analyze a variety of societal issues of a longitudinal nature such as intergenerational equity or time allocation over entire lifetimes.

Spielauer et.al. (2013) Modèle de microsimulation LifePaths : Vue d'ensemble - Statistics Canada [pdf] [html]
LifePaths est un modèle longitudinal dynamique de microsimulation des individus et des familles. À l'aide d'équations sur le comportement établies en se fondant sur diverses sources de microdonnées chronologiques, LifePaths crée des échantillons statistiquement représentatifs de cheminements de vie individuels complets. Les équations sur le comportement génèrent, au niveau de résolution infra-annuel, les événements discrets qui ensemble constituent le cycle de vie d'un individu. Outre les capacités longitudinales de ce modèle, un ensemble complet de cohortes qui se chevauchent permet à LifePaths de produire des données transversales exactes et représentatives à compter de 1971.
LifePaths est utilisé pour analyser et élaborer des programmes gouvernementaux qui ont une composante longitudinale essentielle, particulièrement ceux qui, de par leur nature, exigent une évaluation au niveau de l'individu ou de la famille, et pour en établir le coût. Il peut aussi être utilisé pour analyser diverses questions sociales de nature longitudinale comme l'équité entre les générations ou l'emploi du temps tout au long de la vie.


2013 CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL MICROSIMULATION ASSOCIATION - CANBERRA

Spielauer, Kucera (2013) Combining theoretical with statistical models: the modeling of wealth in LifePaths - Conference paper [link IMA]
This paper outlines the modeling approach of a LifePaths module for wealth and non-mortgage debts and its technical implementation, calibration, and validation. The modeled assets are comprised of financial assets and properties excluding primary homes. Both stocks and annual flows are modeled. The module closes a gap in the modeling of savings in LifePaths which was previously restricted to various vehicles of registered pension savings as well as equity in housing. The inclusion of these other assets and debts allows for a more complete depiction of the wealth distribution of Canadians. In developing this module, we had to face a series data challenges, most importantly consisting in the absence of longitudinal data and the fact, that information for stocks and flows are only available separately. Data reveal a very wide range of saving rates with almost half of the population age 20-64 not saving at all or having negative saving in each given year. Such snapshot pictures contain no information how saving rates change over time for individuals and can only provide calibration targets. By means of extensive experimentation, we distilled theoretical assumptions suitable to produce individual level saving rates in the simulation when combined with statistical models. The final model combines components ranging from a sub-module for vehicle purchases, a “taste” factor capturing unobserved heterogeneity to algorithms capturing consumption smoothing and portfolio choices

Caron-Malenfant, Spielauer (2013) Official population projections using microsimulation: Statistics Canada's Demosim model - Conference paper [link IMA]
Demosim is a microsimulation model designed for detailed population projections developed at Statistics Canada. Using the micro-data file from the Canadian Census of Population (20% sample) as its starting point, Demosim produces dynamic population projections at the level of the provinces, territories, census metropolitan areas and selected smaller geographies. Demosim includes a number of individual characteristics going beyond the typical age - sex classification of classic population projections: visible minority group, place of birth, generation status, Aboriginal identity, highest level of educational attainment, and labour force participation, among others. Initially created in 2004 and on-going, the model has been used over time to generate projections of the Canadian population's ethno-cultural composition, the Aboriginal population of Canada, and the Canadian labour force. Like for all projection models, there exists a trade-off between the additional randomness introduced by additional variables potentially compromising the prediction power of a model, and misspecification errors caused by models that are too simplified. In the context of most microsimulation models, the list of variables in Demosim is kept short leading to aggregate projections generally similar to those obtained by traditional population projections while adding valuable detail. This ability has resulted both in trust in the model results and a growing client base of model users supporting the future development of the model. Within Statistics Canada, it made Demosim a valuable tool for survey weighting and survey validation.

Spielauer (2013) The relation between education and labour force participation of Aboriginal peoples: a simulation analysis using the Demosim population projection model - Conference paper [link IMA]
This study aims at quantifying the impact of educational attainments on the future labour force participation of Aboriginal peoples. Using Statistics Canada’s Demosim population projection model, we are able to simulate alternative scenarios of educational change and resulting effects on the future labour force until 2056. About half of the observed difference in labour force participation rates between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian born population neither belonging to an Aboriginal nor to a visible minority group can be attributed to educational differences. Following a “medium growth – recent trend” scenario, over the next four decades population growth of Aboriginal peoples would result in an 45% increase in size of its labour force if relative educational differences persist. In education scenarios which close the educational gap, this number would increase by almost 70%. At the same time, the composition of the future Aboriginal peoples’ labour force would be dramatically different. While the impact of educational improvements on the future labour force is significant, the change is found to be a slow gradual process as successive young school-age cohorts have yet to enter the labour market and renew the workforce.

2012

Martin Spielauer, Miroslav Kucera (2012) A LifePaths Module for Non-Registered Assets and Debts - Report commissioned by the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
This document outlines the modeling approach of the LifePaths module for non-registered assets and non-mortgage debts and its technical implementation, calibration, and validation. The modeled assets are comprised of financial assets and properties (excluding primary homes). Both stocks and annual flows are modeled. The module closes a gap in the modeling of savings in LifePaths which was previously restricted to various vehicles of registered pension savings (RRSPs and RPPs) as well as equity in housing. The inclusion of these other assets and debts allows for a more complete depiction of the wealth distribution of Canadians. This supports both the applicability of LifePaths for policy analysis and its internal consistency.

Martin Spielauer, Ron Anderson (2012) Microsimulation modeling of student success in community colleges using MicroCC - Social Science Computer Review, Volume 30, No.4, Winter 2012 [link]
While microsimulation modeling has not been utilized extensively in either social science or educational research, it offers to greatly improve understanding, especially of careers and institutional changes over time. The MicroCC microsimulation model was developed and tested on over 250,000 community college students who enrolled in Connecticut and Rhode Island. MicroCC simulated term by term progress and completion of new students for 4.5 years. Using data-based effect coefficients, the model simulated decisions for four process factors: re-enrollment, fulltime attendance, the number of courses taken, and course completions. The model allowed decomposition of racial, gender, and other differences in success rates by process factors. The findings have major relevance for improving student success rates, especially by suggesting ways to make student advising more effective. Besides serving as an analytical tool, MicroCC allows projection of completion rates under “what-if” scenarios. Illustrative input data for MicroCC and a user and access guide are given in appendices.

Elizabeth Thomson, Maria Winkler-Dworak, Martin Spielauer and Alexia Prskawetz (2012) Union Instability as an Engine of Fertility? A Microsimulation Model for France - Demography, 2012, Volume 49, Number 1, Pages 175-195 [pdf]
Opportunities for conceiving and bearing children are fewer when unions are not formed or are dissolved during the childbearing years. At the same time, union instability produces a pool of persons who may enter new partnerships and have additional children in stepfamilies. The balance between these two opposing forces and their implications for fertility may depend on the timing of union formation and parenthood. In this article, we estimate models of childbearing, union formation, and union dissolution for female respondents to the 1999 French Etude de l’Histoire Familiale. Model parameters are applied in microsimulations of completed family size. We find that a population of women whose first unions dissolve during the childbearing years will end up with smaller families, on average, than a population in which all unions remain intact. Because new partnerships encourage higher parity progressions, repartnering minimizes the fertility gap between populations with and those without union dissolution. Differences between the two populations are much smaller when family formation is postponed—that is, when union formation and dissolution or first birth occurs after age 30, or when couples delay childbearing after union formation.

Demographische Forschung (2012) Ein halbes Kind weniger. Moderne Familien: Trennungen und Partnerwechsel lassen die Geburtenrate sinken - Demographische Forschung aus Erster Hand 2012, Jahrgang 9, Nr. 4 [pdf]
Während die Trennungsraten in vielen hoch entwickelten Ländern innerhalb der letzten Jahrzehnte stark gestiegen sind, gingen die Geburtenraten oft zurück. Eine Studie des Vienna Institute of Demography zeigt am Beispiel Frankreichs, wie diese beiden Entwicklungen zusammenhängen: Ist eine Lebensgemeinschaft oder Ehe stabil, werden im Schnitt 0,3 bis 0,5 Kinder pro Frau mehr geboren.

2011

Spielauer (2011) The LifePaths Housing Module - Module documentation, Statistics Canada Modeling Division
This document discusses the LifePaths modules of house ownership, house value changes and house equity. In the Canadian context, the importance of accounting for housing wealth became mostly eminent in the debate of income adequacy in retirement. For a majority of Canadians, their house is their major asset, house ownership and equity thus cannot be ignored when studying pension saving - or wealth and income distribution in general. LifePaths simulates housing careers over the entire life course of each simulated individual. The models are based on and integrate a broad variety of data sources. Cross-sectional consistency is ensured by reproducing the ownership rates and house value distributions by income quintile and family characteristics of all 5 year Census waves since 1971 (data collected in the long form of the Census, a 20% sample of the population). Longitudinal consistency is ensured by modeling the impact of demographic events like union formation and dissolution or the death of a partner. The modeling of housing finance (initial down-payments, mortgages) is based on data of the Survey of Financial Security as well as time series data.

Statistics Canada Demography Division (2011) Population Projections by Aboriginal Identity in Canada 2006 – 2031 - Catalogue no. 91-552-XPE [pdf]
The objective of this projection exercise was to draw a portrait of what the population of the Aboriginal identity groups in Canada—North American Indians, Métis and Inuit—might be in 2031, according to several growth scenarios. These scenarios take into account not only fertility, mortality and migration, but also ethnic mobility and other factors such as education and marital status. For this purpose, the Demosim microsimulation projection model was used. Beyond the fact that it takes a large number of characteristics into account, it also has the advantage of allowing the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations to be projected simultaneously and coherently. From the results presented in this report, it emerges that regardless of the scenario considered, the Aboriginal population as a whole and the populations that comprise it, namely the North American Indians, the Métis and the Inuit, would continue to grow between now and 2031. This growth would occur at a faster pace than for the non- Aboriginal population, except perhaps in the case of the Métis if the population gains due to ethnic mobility were to cease. For the Métis population and, to a lesser extent, the North American Indian population, the scope of this growth is subject to great uncertainty owing to the difficulty of foreseeing how intragenerational ethnic mobility will evolve in the future. The results of all scenarios also show that the populations of the three Aboriginal identity groups would remain younger than the non-Aboriginal population, despite the aging that Aboriginal populations would undergo between now and 2031. As for their geographic distribution, it would remain generally similar to what it was in 2006. In preparing the prospective data contained in this report, care was taken to make the most of existing data sources. However, the available data have some limitations, especially related to coverage of the target populations, sample sizes and the data available. These limitations should be kept in mind when considering the results presented here, especially those at a small geographic scale. Finally, it should be noted that this report contains the results of population projections rather than forecasts. In other words, the goal here was not to predict the future, but instead to have an idea of what would happen if the assumptions and scenarios chosen were to prove correct. In this sense, this was an exercise primarily intended to support the planning of public policies regarding Aboriginal populations, in light of how those populations might evolve in the coming decades.

Statistique Canada Division de la démographie (2011) Projections de la population selon l’identité autochtone au Canada 2006-2031 - No 91-552-XPF au catalogue [pdf]
Cet exercice de projection avait pour objectif de dresser un portrait de ce que pourrait être la population des groupes d’identité autochtone du Canada – Indiens de l’Amérique du Nord, Métis et Inuits – en 2031, selon quelques scénarios de croissance tenant compte non seulement de la fécondité, de la mortalité et des migrations, mais aussi de la mobilité ethnique et d’autres facteurs tels la scolarité et l’état matrimonial. À cette fin, le modèle de projections par microsimulation Demosim a été mis à contribution. Outre le fait qu’il permette la prise en considération d’un nombre important de caractéristiques, il présente également l’avantage de permettre la projection simultanée et cohérente des populations autochtones et non autochtones. Il ressort des résultats présentés dans ce document que peu importe le scénario considéré, la population autochtone dans son ensemble ainsi que chacune des populations qui la compose, soit les Indiens de l’Amérique du Nord, les Métis et les Inuits, continueraient de s’accroître d’ici 2031. Cette croissance se ferait à un rythme supérieur à celui de la population non autochtone, sauf peut-être chez les Métis, si les gains de population par voie de mobilité ethnique devaient cesser. Pour la population métisse et, dans une moindre mesure, celle des Indiens de l’Amérique du Nord, l’ampleur de cette croissance reste sujette à une grande incertitude occasionnée par la difficulté de prévoir l’évolution future de la mobilité ethnique intragénérationnelle. Les résultats de tous les scénarios montrent aussi que les populations des trois groupes d’identité autochtone demeureraient plus jeunes que les non-Autochtones, malgré un vieillissement démographique qui se poursuivrait d’ici 2031. Leur distribution géographique, quant à elle, demeurerait globalement similaire à celle de 2006. Les données prospectives que contient le présent rapport ont été préparées avec le souci de tirer le meilleur parti des sources de données existantes. Les données disponibles comportent cependant plusieurs limites, liées notamment à la couverture des populations visées, aux tailles d’échantillon et aux variables disponibles. C’est pourquoi il convient de garder celles-ci à l’esprit lorsqu’on considère les résultats présentés ici, surtout à de petits échelons géographiques. Il convient enfin de rappeler que le présent rapport comprend des résultats de projections et non pas des prévisions démographiques. En d’autres mots, il ne s’agit pas d’une tentative de prédire l’avenir, mais plutôt d’avoir une idée de ce qu’il adviendrait si les hypothèses et les scénarios retenus devaient s’avérer. En ce sens, il s’agit d’un exercice qui vise d’abord à soutenir la planification de politiques publiques quant aux populations autochtones, à la lumière de ce quelles pourraient être au cours des décennies à venir.

2011 INTERNATIONAL MICROSIMULATION CONFERENCE (IMA) STOCKHOLM - PAPERS

Martin Spielauer (2011) House ownership and equity in the Canadian LifePaths model [slides]
This paper discusses how home equity was incorporated into Statistics Canada's LifePaths microsimulation model. Home equity was incorporated to improve analysis of retirement income adequacy for Canadians. For a majority of Canadians home equity is their single largest investment. It therefore cannot be ignored when analyzing sources of retirement income. Home equity may also be of interest when studying broader issues such as savings and wealth for the general population. LifePaths simulates home equity over the entire life course of each simulated individual. The behavioural and home valuation assumptions were derived from a number of micro-data sources, including property tax data, personal income tax data, a number of censuses, and the Survey of Financial Security. In the model, home equity is affected by relevant events such as marriage, divorce, retirement, and death of a spouse. Finally, results are presented that show the impact of home equity on measures of retirement income adequacy.

Martin Spielauer, Ron Anderson (2011) Student success analysis and prediction using the US community college microsimulation model MicroCC [pdf][slides]
Demographic change in connection with the recent economic crisis have lead to changing enrolment numbers and a changing composition of the student population by age, sex, ethnicity, and the rate of fulltime attendance. Based on 1999-2009 administrative data on the study progression of 280.000 community college students in Connecticut and Rhode Island, we have developed the MicroCC model. MicroCC simulates study progressions of new students of various programs over up to 10 terms, in each term deciding on re-enrolment, fulltime attendance, the number of courses taken, and study success for each course. This framework allows decomposing the considerable ethnical and gender differences in success rates to a variety of factors. We found that around half of the ethnic differences in study success can be attributed to the different initial fulltime rates, while the contribution of other factors like differences in dropout rates, course repetition, and the number of courses taken is highly specific to ethnic groups. These findings are of high policy relevance. Besides serving as analytical tool, MicroCC allows to project course enrolment and graduation numbers under various scenarios.

Marta Styrc, Martin Spielauer, Irena E. Kotowska (2011) Later and less stable unions - fewer children as a result? The impact of changes in union formation and dissolution on fertility in Poland in the 1990s
Poland experienced a rapid decline of fertility in the 1990's, accompanied by strong changes in union formation patterns, with marriages becoming more delayed, less stable and less universal. Postponement of marriage drives postponement of fertility, especially in Poland where the majority of births occur within marriage. But the strength of this relationship has not yet been assessed because of complex interdependencies and the difficulty to translate findings at the individual level into outcomes at the macro level. This paper aims to overcome these difficulties by complementing event history analysis with microsimulation modeling. This approach allows us to study the contribution of individual processes and their changes over time on aggregate measures like cohort fertility and the distribution of completed parity.

Martin Spielauer, Landis MacKellar (2011) Exploring the potential of microsimulation for the study of poverty, health, and social security in the developing world. The MicroHGC model [slides]
In this contribution we explore and demonstrate the potential of microsimulation in the form of highly stylized models for the study of poverty, health and social security in the developing world. While microsimulation is typically associated with data intensive and detailed models - thus applied virtually exclusively in the industrialized world - we aim at demonstrating that simple and stylized microsimulation models with rather modest data demands can make a powerful contribution in presence of severe inequality in conjunction with rapid demographic and economic change - typical pattern of emerging economies. This is demonstrated by MicroHGC and its initial application for the study of old-age poverty in India. MicroHGC is highly modular and generic, thus can serve as model template as well as a tool for training and capacity building in microsimulation modeling.

Jose Siri, Martin Spielauer (2011) Microsimulation of Urban Malaria in Sub-Sahara Africa
Despite environmental and socio-demographic conditions that are significantly less conducive to transmission than in rural zones, urban malaria remains a problem in most cities in endemic areas of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Empirical work and, increasingly, analytical and simulation modeling, suggest that two factors contribute broadly to the persistence of urban malaria transmission: a) spatial heterogeneity of the urban environment, with some patches supporting local vector breeding and survival, and b) mobility of human populations, which can introduce new infections through the linked, but distinct, processes of urban-rural travel and migration. We developed a longitudinal dynamic microsimulation model in the MODGEN system to investigate these issues in detail for small-to-medium-sized cities, which will constitute the largest portion of urban growth in SSA over the next decades. Through this model, we explore how a range of individual travel behaviours and the ongoing process of rural-urban migration interact with the spatial distribution of vector-suitable habitat relative to human populations within a city to influence persistence of transmission and local patterns of acquired immunity to malaria. In doing so, we track variation in a set of policy-relevant outcomes, including entomological inoculation rate and vector-to-human ratios, clinical and sub-clinical malaria cases, population immune status, and days of work and school lost, and explore the likely effects of specific sets of malaria prevention and control interventions.

F. J. Fernandez-Diaz, Ignacio Moral-Arce, Cio Patxot, Guadalupe Souto, Martin Spielauer (2011) A micro simulation model for the Spanish retirement pensions system
This paper presents a microsimulation model for the Spanish retirement pensions system. The model is based on a micro data set - the Muestra, Continua de Vidas Laborales (MCVL) - published since 2004 by the Spanish Social Security administration. These data contain the retrospective work and income careers of a large sample of the working and retired population. The model is implemented in the Modgen programming language and incorporates behavioural equations for a set of employment transitions and the retirement decision. In particular, the effect of expected future pension benefits by retirement age on the retirement decision is explicitly modeled. This allows simulating the effects of the reform measures introduced in Spain along the year 2011.

2010

Spielauer (2010) Persistence and change of the relative difference in educational attainment by ethnocultural group and gender in Canada - Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2010 (Vol.8), pp. 261-282 [pdf]
This article presents analytical findings on the persistence and change of the relative difference in educational attainment by ethno-cultural group and gender in Canada. As these trends cannot be observed from a single data source, a modelling technique to integrate longitudinal data lacking ethno-cultural detail with cross-sectional Census data was developed. First- and second-generation immigrants and/or members of most visible minority groups on average reach higher educational levels than their Canadian-born peers not belonging to a visible minority. This study reveals that the relative educational differences between the studied groups are both important in extent and remarkably stable over birth cohorts. The research presented in this paper was conducted in the context of Statistics Canada’s population projection microsimulation model Demosim. Demosim marks an important milestone in establishing microsimulation for official population projections. It reflects the demand for models which can go beyond age and sex, capturing geographical detail, ethnic diversity, educational attainment and other characteristics.

Spielauer (2010) What is Social Science Microsimulation? - Social Science Computer Review, vol. 29, 1: pp. 9-20. [link - Abstract]
This article introduces microsimulation by presenting its main underlying ideas as well as its main strengths and drawbacks. Microsimulation is currently experiencing a boom, which is driven by three main forces. The first is the increased demand of policy makers for detailed projections and models able to assess distributional and long-term sustainability issues of social security systems. The second is the emergence of new research paradigms with an increased emphasis on individuals within their context, studied from a longitudinal, multilevel perspective. The third concerns technological advances, providing not only the necessary computer power but also the programming tools for model development, accessible to scientists without specialized programming skills. Although static microsimulation models are established tools for policy analysis, dynamic microsimulation has yet to find its way into the methodological toolbox of mainstream social scientists—but the prospects are promising.

Bélanger, A., J.-D. Morency, M. Spielauer (2010) A Microsimulation Model to Study the Interaction between Fertility and Union Formation and Dissolution: An Application to Canada and Quebec - Canadian Studies in Population, Vol. 37.3-4, Fall/Winter, pp. 339-373 [pdf]
Union formation and dissolution are among the main determinants explaining variations in fertility. Compared to the rest of Canada, Quebec’s marital histories are more complex and its prevalence of common-law unions much higher. The objective of this article is to examine the role of marital behaviours on fertility by comparing different indicators of fertility and conjugal life that were obtained through microsimulation. Parameters of the microsimulation model were estimated from hazard regressions performed on the marital and fertility histories collected in two retrospective longitudinal surveys: the Canadian General Social Survey (GSS) 2001 and 2006. Results show that the more complex marital histories of Quebecers can explain more than one-quarter of their fertility differences with the rest of the country.

Statistics Canada Demography Division (2010) Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population 2006 to 2031 - Catalogue no. 91-551-XPE [pdf]
Carried out on the initiative of Canadian Heritage, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the projections presented in this document are primarily intended to describe the evolution of the ethnocultural diversity of the Canadian population from 2006 to 2031. The results show that regardless of the scenario of future change considered, the ethnocultural diversity of the population will continue to increase significantly over the next two decades, especially within certain census metropolitan areas. Three Canadians in ten could be a member of a visible minority group in 2031, and the corresponding proportion in the Toronto and Vancouver CMAs could be two times greater. The projections also shed light on the process by which ethnocultural diversity is increasing. While the face of the foreign-born Canadian population was already diversified in 2006, the projections also show that this diversity is likely to increase rapidly within the Canadian-born population, notably within the so-called second generation, composed of the children of immigrants. And finally, regardless of future levels and diversity of immigration to Canada, the ethnocultural diversity will grow as a result of the fertility of immigrants already settled in Canada and the transmission of some of their characteristics to their Canadian-born children. The projections have a number of limitations that should be kept in mind. These projections are in no case an attempt to predict the future, but are instead based on a number of assumptions and scenarios regarding future change that were carefully developed and selected for their plausibility and utility. The databases used, while producing high quality parameters subject to little sampling variability, do have some limitations with respect to the coverage of the target populations and the variables that they make available for analysis. Despite these limitations, the projections presented in this document are a useful and relevant tool for estimating future demographic changes in support of program and policy development.

Statistique Canada Division de la démographie (2010) Projections de la diversité de la population canadienne 2006-2031 - No 91-551-XPF au catalogue [pdf]
Réalisées à l’initiative des ministères du Patrimoine Canadien, de Ressources humaines et Développement des compétences Canada ainsi que de Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada, les projections présentées dans ce document ont pour principal but de décrire ce que pourrait être l’évolution de la diversité ethnoculturelle de la population canadienne de 2006 à 2031. Il ressort des résultats que peu importe le scénario d’évolution envisagé, la diversité ethnoculturelle de la population devrait continuer à s’accroître de façon significative au cours des deux prochaines décennies et ce, particulièrement au sein de certaines régions métropolitaines de recensement. Trois Canadiens sur dix pourraient appartenir à un groupe de minorités visibles en 2031 et cette proportion pourrait être deux fois plus importante dans les RMR de Toronto et de Vancouver. Ces projections permettent également de mieux comprendre le processus par lequel s’opère la progression de la diversité ethnoculturelle. Si la population canadienne née à l’étranger présentait déjà, en 2006, un visage diversifié, les projections montrent également que cette diversité devrait s’accroître rapidement au sein de la population née au Canada, notamment au sein de la population dite de deuxième génération et composée des enfants d’immigrants. Peu importe les niveaux et la diversité futurs de l’immigration au Canada, la diversité ethnoculturelle ira croissante sous l’effet de la fécondité des immigrants déjà établis au Canada et de la transmission de certaines de leurs caractéristiques ethnoculturelles à leurs enfants nés au Canada. Les projections réalisées comportent plusieurs limites qu’il convient de rappeler. N’étant en aucun cas une tentative de prédire l’avenir, elles reposent plutôt sur un certain nombre d’hypothèses et de scénarios d’évolution future soigneusement élaborés et sélectionnés en fonction de leur plausibilité et de leur utilité. Les bases de données utilisées, si elles permettent d’obtenir des paramètres de grande qualité et sujets à une faible variabilité due à l’échantillon, comportent des limites relatives à la couverture des populations cibles et aux variables qu’elles rendent disponibles pour l’analyse. Malgré ces limites, les projections présentées dans ce document demeurent un outil utile et pertinent pour estimer les changements démographiques à venir ainsi que pour supporter le développement de politiques et de programmes.

2009

Spielauer (2009) The LifePaths Mortality Module - Module documentation, Statistics Canada Modeling Division
The module implements death according to a person's mortality hazard calculated from cohort life table data. Users can parameterize - and choose between - a low, medium, and high mortality scenario. While the model reproduces the life-tables on the aggregated level, it also implements various types of relative risks of which different sets can be selected by the user:
- Institutionalization only or health status (including institutionalization);
- HUI Human Utility Index (on/off); and
- Education and Marital status (on/off).

Spielauer (2009) The RiskPaths teaching model - Paper presented at the 2009 Conference of the International Microsimulation Association, Ottawa [pdf]
RiskPaths is a simple, competing risk, continuous time microsimulation model developed alongside a microsimulation course for the European Doctoral School for Demography. It enables the study of how childlessness and other measures are affected at an aggregate level by changes in individual processes, such as fertility by age, first and second union formation, and union dissolution. While kept simple, RiskPaths nevertheless demonstrates what microsimulation can add to event history analysis and how demographic microsimulation models can be efficiently programmed using the language Modgen. The output of RiskPaths includes the visual display of how individual risks of the modeled events change over the simulated life courses, thus allowing students to better understand the underlying hazard regression models and the concept of competing risks. Table output includes the simulated values of the initial model parameters, a feature which supports the study of randomness and its connection to sample size.

Thomson E, M Winkler-Dworak, M Spielauer, A Prskawetz (2009) Union Instability as an Engine of Fertility? A microsimulation model for France - Vienna Institute of Demography WP02/09; Stockholm University Research Report 1/09, Austria [pdf - SUDA] [pdf - VID]
Micro-level relationships between union formation or dissolution and childbearing have implications for fertility that have not been thoroughly examined. In this paper, we suggest that these relationships comprise an ‘engine’ that produces variation and change around replacement level fertility. On the one hand, union dissolution reduces opportunities for conceiving and bearing children. At the same time, it produces a pool of persons who may enter new partnerships and produce ‘extra’ children. The balance between these two opposing forces and their implications for fertility levels is unknown and will depend in part on the timing of union formation and parenthood. In this paper, we estimate the parameters of these micro-level relationships for female respondents to the 1999 French `Etude de l’Histoire FamilialeÝ. We use those parameters to simulate the implications of non-union childbearing, union dissolution and re-partnering for completed family size. We also investigate the extent to which links between union formation or dissolution and childbearing depend on the timing of unions and births.

Spielauer (2009) What is Dynamic Social Science Microsimulation? - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
This discussion introduces microsimulation in the social sciences by defining its underlying concepts, its historical development, its strengths and limitations, and the situations in which microsimulation is a highly appropriate simulation approach.

Spielauer (2009) Microsimulation Approaches - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
This discussion classifies microsimulation approaches, concentrating on why, what and how societies are simulated on a computer. It includes a section of explanation versus prediction as the purpose of microsimulation, and it distinguishes between cohort versus population models, cross-sectional versus synthetic starting population models, continuous versus discrete time models, and interacting or non-interacting population models.

Spielauer (2009) General Characteristics of Modgen Applications: Exploring the Model RiskPaths - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
This discussion outlines the foundations of a relatively straightforward teaching model, RiskPaths, used to examine childlessness. It then elaborates how microsimulation is an appropriate study approach and introduces how the visual interface that comes with Modgen helps to explore the various aspects of this model.

Spielauer (2009) Modgen and the application RiskPaths from the Model Developer's View - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
This discussion focuses on the basics of starting to build the teaching model, RiskPaths, using Modgen in the Visual Studio development environment. It proposes separate modules that correspond to different behaviours or roles within the model and discusses the potential contents of each module, including code samples.

Spielauer (2009) Qu’est-ce qu’une microsimulation dynamique en sciences sociales? - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
Cette discussion introduit la microsimulation en sciences sociales par une définition de ses concepts sous-jacents, son développement historique, ses points forts et inconvénients, et les situations dans lesquelles la microsimulation est une approche bien appropriée pour la simulation.

Spielauer (2009) Approches de microsimulation - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
Cette discussion classifie les approches de microsimulation, concentrant sur pourqoi et comment les sociétes sont simulées avec un ordinateur. Il y a une section sur l'explication par opposition à la prédiction comme le but de microsimulation, et la différence est donneé entre les modèles de cohorte et les modéles de population, les modèles avec une population de départ transversale ou une population synthétique, les modèles avec le temps continu ou le temps discret, et les modèles orientés cas par oppisition aux modèles orientés temps.

Spielauer (2009) Caractéristiques générales des applications Modgen - Exploration du modèle RiskPaths - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
Cette discussion fait un bref compte rendu des fondations d'un modèle rélativement simple développé à des fins de formation pour étudier l'absence d'enfants. Puis elle donne des précisions sur comment la microsimulation est une approache appropriée. Enfin, il ya une introduction sur commet l'interface visuelle de Modgen peut être utilisée pour explorer le modèle.

Spielauer (2009) Modgen et l'application RiskPaths du point de vue du Concepteur de modèles - Statistics Canada, Modeling Division [html] [pdf]
Cette discussion se concentre sur les points essentiels pour construire le modèle à des fins de formation, RiskPaths, en utilisant Modegen dans l'environnement de développement « Visual Studio +. Elle suggère des modules séparés pour les comportements différents dans le modèle, et elle inclut le contenu possible de chaque module, avec des examples du code.

2007

Spielauer (2007) Dynamic Microsimulation of Health Care Demand, Health Care Finance and the Economic Impact of Health Behavior: Survey and Review. - International Journal of Microsimulation [pdf]
This report reviews a selected sample of seven dynamic microsimulation models in order to identify different approaches and modeling options and to draw conclusions and derive lessons for the microsimulation modeling of health care demand, health care finance and the economic impact of health behavior. After giving a brief description of each of the selected models, the modeling approaches are summarized and commented by means of five distinguished criteria. These are the use of alignment techniques, the model's complexity and range of variables used, the theoretical foundation of the model, the type of starting population used, and the extent and detail of financial issues covered. The conclusions are then summarized in a series of “lessons” that can be learned from existing projects. A commented list of 27 dynamic microsimulation models is contained in the Appendix.

Spielauer (2007) The Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Program - In: Generations and Gender Programme: Concepts and Guidelines, United Nations, Geneva 2007 [ISBN: 978-92-1-116985-0] [pdf]
The increasing recognition that the study of human behaviors has to take into account the multiple contexts in which they occur has opened a promising research avenue in social sciences. It also presents new challenges, e.g., to complement micro-level surveys with the collection of meaningful contextual data within a common conceptual framework. The Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Program aims at responding to the new data demands by providing a comparative collection of around 210 variables on a national and sub-national level, thus complementing the individual-level data collected in the Generations and Gender Survey.

Spielauer, M.; Koytcheva, E.; Kostova, D. (2007) First and second births in first and second unions: a decomposition of fertility decline in Bulgaria and Russia since the 1989 economic and political transition - Rostock, MPIDR Working Paper WP-2007-001 [pdf]
Following the collapse of the communist regimes in Bulgaria and Russia, the two countries have experienced dramatic fertility decline. The aim of this paper is to examine the individual contribution of various factors that have contributed to the overall drop in first and second births. By means of microsimulation, we isolate the effect of changes observed in first and second birth risks in different life course situations as well as the impact of changes in union formation and dissolution on fertility. The study is based on hazard regression models estimated from GGS data. We find remarkable similarities in first and second birth behaviour and changes in these behaviours over time in both countries. However, partnership behaviour and trends differ considerably, causing a stronger fertility decline in Bulgaria due to delayed partnership formation. Nevertheless, in Russia unions are increasingly unstable, a process which, according to our findings, leads to longer birth intervals but has almost no impact on final birth outcome.

2006

Bühler, C.; Désesquelles, A.; Neyer, G. R.; Kapitány, B.; Konietzka, D.; Kveder, A.; Pailhé, A.; Régnier-Loilier, A.; Solaz, A.; Spéder, Z.; Spielauer, M.; Vikat, A (2006) Generations and Gender Survey: core questionnaire for Wave 2 - United Nations Population Activities Unit, Geneva 2006 [pdf]
The Generations and Gender Survey is part of an international programme co-ordinated by the UN Economic Commission for Europe. The aim of this research is to learn more about the everyday life, circumstances, and opinions of people and families. We want to gather information about the factors that influence the formation of new families, childbearing and preparation for old age. We also want to gather information about the lives of the young, middle-aged and old generations. This survey will show how people’s life and family circumstances have changed over time, which will improve understanding of impediments of family life and relations of generations and help to develop policies for the future.

Spielauer (2006) The LifeCourse model, a competing risk cohort microsimulation model: source code and basic concepts of the generic microsimulation programming language Modgen - Rostock, MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-046 [pdf]
This paper documents the source code of “LifeCourse”, a simple competing risk microsimulation model initially developed alongside a study on fertility decline in Bulgaria and Russia. “LifeCourse” is programmed in the generic microsimulation language Modgen developed at Statistics Canada. In the context of this contribution, the model is introduced step by step as template for other microsimulation applications and as training tool for demographic microsimulation using Modgen.

2005

Spielauer (2005) Responding to new data demands for comparative research and multilevel analysis: the Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Program. - Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 11-522-XIE [pdf]
The increasing recognition that the study of human behaviours has to take into account the multiple contexts in which they occur has opened a promising research avenue in social sciences. It also presents new challenges, i.e. to complement micro-level surveys with the collection of meaningful contextual data within a common conceptual framework. The international comparative Generations and Gender Program, which is coordinated by the Population Activities Unit of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe, combines a panel survey carried out in various European countries, Japan, and Australia with a comparative contextual database developed as integral part of the program.

Spielauer (2005) Répondre aux nouvelles demandes de données pour la recherche comparative et l’analyse multiniveaux : la base de données contextuelle du Generations and Gender Program - Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. No 11-522-XIF [pdf]
Le fait que l’on reconnaisse de plus en plus la nécessité d’analyser les comportements humains en tenant compte des multiples contextes dans lesquels ils ont eu lieu a ouvert des perspectives de recherche prometteuses dans le domaine des sciences sociales. Cela impose aussi de nouveaux défis, par exemple, la collecte de données contextuelles significatives dans les limites d’un cadre conceptuel commun, en complément des enquêtes de niveau micro. Le Generations and Gender Program, programme international comparatif coordonné par la Population Activities Unit de la Commission des Nations Unies pour l’Europe, combine une enquête par panel réalisée dans divers pays d’Europe, au Japon et en Australie à une base de données contextuelle créée en tant que partie intégrante du programme.

Spielauer, M.; V. Shkolnikov, J Vaupel (2005) Steigende Ungleichheit der Familiengröîen in Europa. Deutschland und Österreich bei der Geburtenkonzentration im Spitzenfeld - Demografische Forschung Aus Erster Hand 2:4 [pdf]
This article investigates the increasing inequality of family sizes in Europe. Comparative studies revealed that all Western countries have witnessed a decline in the concentration of reproduction during the 20th century, a trend that has reversed for the most recent cohorts which have reached the end of their reproductive period. Germany and Austria are in a leading position concerning birth concentration.

Spielauer (2005) Concentration of reproduction in Austria: general trends and differentials by educational attainment and urban-rural setting - Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2005 [pdf]
In this paper, we explore the inter-individual diversity in fertility among women in Austria for the female birth cohorts 1917-1961. Comparative studies revealed that all Western countries have witnessed a decline in the concentration of reproduction during the 20th century, a trend that has reversed for the most recent cohorts which have reached the end of their reproductive period. This reversal, mainly triggered by an increase in childlessness, has been hardly perceptible in Austria and limited to urban municipalities. Changes in fertility and concentration have followed very different trajectories by educational attainment as well as by the type of municipality in which women lived at age 15. Within educational categories, we found large differentials by profession and intergenerational educational mobility. A consequence of the concentration of reproduction is that the level of cohort fertility differs from the average sibship size seen from the children’s perspective. In the Austrian case, in contrast to the pronounced fertility differentials by educational attainment, the average sibship size experienced by children became almost independent of parents’ education. In contrast to the negative correlation between fertility and concentration found in earlier studies for the first demographic transition and the baby boom, the fertility level and concentration moved in the same direction, and did so for an extended time period following the baby boom, accelerating changes from the children’s perspective.

Spielauer (2005) Familia y dependencia. Un análisis de los cambios demográficos en España y Europa - In: López López, M. T. (Editor): Familia y dependencia: nuevas necesidades, nuevas propuestas. Madrid: Ediciones Cinca, 2005
Este capítulo analiza los principales cambios demográficos y familiares en España y Europa así como su conexión con el problema de la dependencia. El estudio parte de las variables demográficas centrales que determinan la estructura de la población y el cambio fundamental que se experimenta a este respecto: El envejecimiento de la población. Después, usando el marco descriptivo y explicativo de la segunda transición demográfica, se ocederá a examinar en más detalle los cambios a nivel individual y familiar detrás del cambio demográfico. En esta transición, España destaca por haber iniciado dicho proceso con retraso y también por la rapidez con la que sus cambios se han llevado a cabo. Destaca también por el papel significativo que tiene la familia y sus redes, ya que ésta ha conservado su importancia como un valor e igualmente como resultado del sistema de bienestar mediterráneo. Las peculiaridades de los procesos sociodemográficos y familiares españoles no son el resultado exclusivo de una posición distinta en un proceso uniforme de transición global sino también de las diferencias históricas, económicas y legales tal como en su modelo del estado de bienestar. Después de analizar el panorama demográfico de España en su contexto europeo, se estudiará la relación entre los mencionados cambios y los problemas de la dependencia. Aunque con el envejecimiento de la población el número de personas mayores se incremente, esta cifra no necesariamente esta conectada simétricamente con la cantidad de personas dependientes. El grueso de la evidencia empírica permite afirmar que en paralelo del crecimiento de la esperanza de vida también aumenta la esperanza de vida sin limitaciones. Pero ni en proyecciones optimistas, el descenso de las tasas de dependencia según edad puede neutralizar los efectos del envejecimiento de la población.

2004

Spielauer (2004) Les politiques familiales en Europe: une typologie - Population & Avenir No. 666; Paris [pdf]
QuÝelle soit implicite ou explicite, maigre ou significative, tous les pays de l’Union européenne ont une politique familiale. Il faut donc préciser quelles motivations peuvent les fonder et quel type de politique familiale en découle. Enfin, il sera intéressant de mettre en évidence les disparités des politiques familiales par deux exemples, les congés parentaux et le système de garde des enfants.

Spielauer (2004) Intergenerational Educational Transmission within Families: Analysis and Microsimulation Projection for Austria - Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2004 [pdf]
In this contribution we study intergenerational educational transmission within families in Austria. The paper is divided into an analytical part and a synthesis of the resulting behavioural models to a comprehensive computer microsimulation model that is used to project the future educational composition of the population. The models are based on retrospective event history data collected in the special programme of the 1996 micro-census, which was also used to generate the starting population for projections. The analysis of school choices reveals a very strong influence of parental educational attainment leading to strong intergenerational transmission mechanisms within families, i. e., considerable intergenerational persistence of educational careers within families. In contrast to the continuing educational expansion at the population level, very stable behavioural relationships can be found on the micro level when accounting for parental educational attainment. Our projections reveal that the educational expansion that we experienced in the last decades will continue at a very moderate speed in the next decades until an equilibrium is reached. In the equilibrium, half of the population will obtain a Matura diploma of which 30% will also graduate from university.

Spielauer, Houle (2004) Sample size and statistical significance of hazard regression parameters. An exploration by means of Monte Carlo simulation of four transition models based on Hungarian GGS data - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research , Rostock, MPIDR WP-2004-020 [pdf]
In this paper, we explore the relation between sample sizes of female respondents aged 18-44 and the statistical significance of parameter estimates in four piecewise constant proportional hazard regression models by means of microsimulation. The underlying models for first marriage, first birth, second birth, and first divorce are estimated from Hungarian GGS data and interpreted and used as typical event-history models for the analysis of GGS data in general. The models are estimated from the full biographies as well as from three- and six-year inter-panel biographies of the simulated samples. The simulation results indicate that there is great sensibility of the parameters that reach statistical significance to the sample size precisely in the sample range of the GGS. This means that any reduction or increase in the sample size will notably affect the statistical analysis of the data. Marginal gains in terms of the number of significant parameters are especially high up to 3.000 respondents when applying rather modest thresholds of significance. For higher thresholds, marginal gains remain steep for sample sizes up to 5.000 respondents. When analyzing inter-panel histories, especially for a single three-year interval, the likelihood that parameter estimates are significant is very moderate. For 6-year inter-panel histories, we get better results, at least for a sample size of at least 3.000. When reducing the sample size to below 3.000, the number of significant results for inter-panel histories deteriorates rapidly.

2003

Spielauer, Vencatasawmy (2003) FAMSIM: Dynamic Microsimulation of Life Course Interactions between Education, Work, Partnership Formation and Birth in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden - Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2003
Microsimulation models are getting increasingly popular in the Social Sciences and they have been used to investigate many problems related to social security and tax benefits, among many other applications. Many national microsimulation models now exist and recently there has been an interest for models that can be used for international comparisons. In this paper we introduce such a model, dubbed FAMSIM. The first part of the paper briefly describes some of the approaches and traditions of microsimulation. The second part introduces the FAMSIM model and the Family and Fertility Survey (FFS) data used. As the FFS data are available for more than 20 countries in a standardized way, they allow for international comparative studies. The results of the parameter estimation for five European countries namely Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden are then presented and discussed. Finally some simulation runs for Austria are presented. This preliminary investigation has shown that the behavioural models are very useful for comparing risk patterns for life course events such as partnership formation and fertility for women in the five countries. The simulation runs for Austria showed that the forecasts are stable and correspond fairly well to macro measures from independent sources.

Spielauer, Schwarz, Städtner, Schmid (2003) Family and Education: Intergenerational educational transmission within families and the influence of education on partner choice and fertility. Analysis and microsimulation projection for Austria - Vienna: Austrian Institute for Family Studies Book Series 11 [pdf]
In this volume on “Family and Education” we study the intergenerational educational transmission within families and the influence of education on partner choice and fertility. The study can be divided into an analytical part and a synthesis of the resulting behavioural models to a comprehensive computer microsimulation model, which allows to project the educational composition of the population into the future. The analytical part focuses (1) on individual school choices in dependence on parents’ educational attainment, sex and rural urban setting, (2) partnership formation by education, i.e. the educational composition of couples and related changes over time, and (3) fertility differentials between educational groups. The models are based on the retrospective event history data collected in the special program of the 1996 micro census, which was also used to generate the starting population for projections. The analysis of school choices reveals a very strong influence of the educational attainment of parents leading to strong intergenerational transmission mechanisms within families, i.e. considerable intergenerational persistence of educational careers within families. In contrast to the ongoing educational expansion at the population level, very stable behavioural relationships can be found on the micro-level when accounting for the parental educational attainment. Regarding the educational composition of couples, we again find a situation, in which most changes have already levelled off and led to almost time-invariant distributions. Computer micro-simulation reveals that today’s patterns are likely to remain unchanged also in future. The second related behaviour that affects the future educational composition of the population are fertility differentials between educational groups. We use computer micro-simulation in order to find “proper” parity distributions by educational group that produce observed birth numbers by education in a retrospective simulation. Using the resulting parameterization we will finally apply the microsimulation model to project the educational composition of the population into the future. As all parameters are assumed time-invariant, the educational composition converges towards a stable equilibrium. In order to determine the effect of fertility differentials on this equilibrium, we “run” a second scenario of uniform fertility behaviours and use the resulting equilibriums for a comparative analysis.

Spielauer (2003) A Socio-Demographic Microsimulation Model for Austria: General Framework and Application for Educational Projections - University of Vienna, Doctoral Thesis, 2003 [pdf]
The aim of this thesis is twofold. First, it aims at the development of a general conceptual and technical framework for a dynamic socio-demographic microsimulation model for Austria. Based on a literature review and a survey of existing microsimulation models, conclusions regarding the development for an Austrian model are drown and a general computational microsimulation modeling platform is developed and implemented in object oriented C++. The second aim regards the development of the core behavioural modules of a socio-demographic model for Austria synthesized to a model that is applicable for educational projections. These core modules include models for educational careers, partner matching and the quantum, timing and spacing of births. The models are based on the retrospective event history data collected in the special program of the 1996 micro census that was also used to generate the starting population for projections. The analysis of school choices reveals a very strong influence of the educational attainment of parents leading to strong intergenerational transmission mechanisms within families. In contrast to the ongoing educational expansion at the population level, very stable behavioural relationships on the micro-level can be found when accounting for the parental educational attainment. Education also has a high impact on fertility behaviour both regarding quantum and timing of birth and plays a key role regarding partner matching. Based on this analysis, a comprehensive microsimulation model is developed and used to study the effect of intergenerational educational transmission processes within families and fertility differentials between educational groups on the future educational composition of the population. Beside this application for educational projections, both the technical modeling platform and the behavioral models are also seen as main building blocks for a wide range of future applications and extensions ranging from the projection of kinship networks to dynamic tax-benefit, pension and health care models.

2002

Spielauer (2002) Situación Social, Demografía y Familia - in José Ramón Losana: La Familia, Futuro de Europa, Madrid, 2002
(in spanish; español) Starting from a comparative overview on the socio-demographic and economic situation of the member countries of the European Union, this article provides a classification of different policies and policy regimes concerning the family. Four countries, namely Sweden, Germany, France, and the UK are studied and compared in more detail, as they represent very different types of the welfare state regimes found in Europe.

Spielauer (2002) Dynamic Microsimulation of Health Care Demand, Health Care Finance and the Economic Impact of Health Behavior. Part I: Background and a Comparison with Cell-Based Models - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA Interim Report - IR-02-032, 2002 [pdf]
Cell-based health care models, as well as macro-level projections of future population and economic trends used as input to health care models, are limited to a few variables, which makes microsimulation an interesting modeling option, especially as it allows for modeling of the interaction of demographic with social, environmental and economic variables. Micro-approaches can incorporate the wealth of substantive analysis gained from a large number of micro- and macro-level studies with regard to demographic, economic and health behaviour. Compared to cell-based macro models, microsimulation can produce useful projections for the analysis of different health related phenomena considering additional dimensions, i.e., detailed issues regarding health care finance (insurance schemes, individual accounts etc.) and individual risk exposure. This paper constitutes the first part of an investigation of the potential of dynamic microsimulation for the modeling and projection of health care demand, health care finance and the economic impact of health behaviour. The main purpose of this part is to provide a brief theoretical background with regard to the dynamic microsimulation approach and a comparison of the microsimulation approach with the cell-based macro approach. Starting with a definition of dynamic microsimulation and a classification of the types and approaches, microsimulation modeling is brought into the context of the life-course paradigm. This paradigm, meanwhile being the dominant paradigm in demography, can also be a useful organizational principle for the study and projection of health-related phenomena using microsimulation. Microsimulation is then compared with cell-based approaches, and the potential strengths as well as drawbacks of the microsimulation approach with regard to health care modeling are investigated. Dynamic microsimulation might turn out to be increasingly appropriate as a modeling approach in this field, which is currently dominated by cell-based macro-models.

Spielauer (2002) Dynamic Microsimulation of Health Care Demand, Health Care Finance and the Economic Impact of Health Behavior. Part II: Survey and Review - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA Interim Report [pdf]
This report is the second part of an investigation of the potential of dynamic microsimulation for modeling and projection of health care demand, health care finance and the economic impact of health behavior. While the first part (Spielauer, 2002) provided a theoretical and methodological background of dynamic microsimulation in this research area and compared the microsimulation approach with the cell-based macro-approach, this paper contains a survey of existing microsimulation projects and draws some conclusions with regard to health care modeling. The purpose of this survey is to capitalize on the expertise acquired by what is now more than 40 years of dynamic microsimulation model development with regard to modeling health care demand, health care finance and the economic impact of health behavior. Based on literature research, 33 dynamic microsimulation projects were identified for which documentation is available. While a short description and classification of these projects is given in the appendix of this report, 9 projects are reviewed in more detail. All of these 9 models include health-related variables, however, the range of health-related issues that can be studied using these models varies widely, as health is not the central focus of the majority of the models. Consequently, this review does not exclusively concentrate on the treatment of health issues in microsimulation models, but the selection of models was also made with the intention to cover most approaches towards dynamic data-based microsimulation with regard to the general structure and modeling options. The review focuses on the modeling of demographic and health behaviors and on the way these models are integrated into the whole model structure, including policy and accounting issues. After giving a brief description of each of the selected models, the modeling approaches are summarized and commented by means of five distinguished criteria. These are the use of alignment techniques, the model's complexity and range of variables used, the theoretical foundation of the model, the type of starting population used, and the extent and detail of financial issues covered. The conclusions are then summarized in a series of “lessons” that can be learned from existing projects.

2001

Spielauer, Vencatasawmy (2001) FAMSIM: Dynamic Microsimulation of Life Course Interactions between Education, Work, Partnership Formation and Birth in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden - Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics (BEJE) Vol.4 Number Two, Recife, December 15th 2001
Microsimulation models are getting increasingly popular in the Social Sciences and they have been used to investigate many problems related to social security and tax benefits, among many other applications. Many national microsimulation models now exist and recently there has been an interest for models that can be used for international comparisons. In this paper we introduce such a model, dubbed FAMSIM. The first part of the paper briefly describes some of the approaches and traditions of microsimulation. The second part introduces the FAMSIM model and the Family and Fertility Survey (FFS) data used. As the FFS data are available for more than 20 countries in a standardized way, they allow for international comparative studies. The results of the parameter estimation for five European countries namely Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden are then presented and discussed. Finally some simulation runs for Austria are presented. This preliminary investigation has shown that the behavioural models are very useful for comparing risk patterns for life course events such as partnership formation and fertility for women in the five countries. The simulation runs for Austria showed that the forecasts are stable and correspond fairly well to macro measures from independent sources.

Spielauer, Neuwirth (2001) Hochrechnungsprogramm zur Familienhilfe der Wiener Landesregierung - Model and software development for projections of family benefits in Vienna - Government of Vienna; 2001; August 2001
The Municipality of Vienna provides family benefits which complement federal family subsidies. In this report we investigate costs and benefits of the provincial scheme and describe a projection software package developed as part of the project. The simulation program is a user-friendly tool for policy-maker and allows to change a variety of parameters of the existing system including means tests, benefits by income category, weighing of family members, and duration periods of benefits. The model output consists of monthly cost estimates for a three-year projection horizon what allows to study transition periods from one set of policies to other.

Spielauer (2001) Microsimulation Modeling of Population, Economic Growth, and Social Security Systems - IIASA Interim Report IR-01-026, 2001 [pdf]
This paper is a first step in trying to develop a modeling and simulation framework that allows to incorporate the strengths of microsimulation in economic growth modeling in the context of demographic change. This is mainly done by restating and programming an existing neoclassical macroeconomic growth model in terms of microsimulation, which allows to explore and demonstrate some of the features microsimulation techniques can possibly "add" to this kind of modeling. The starting point of the analysis is the IIASA "Social Security Forecasting and Simulation Model", developed by the IIASA Social Security Reform (SSR) Project as described in MacKellar et al. (2000). This model was developed to study the influence of pension systems on the economy mainly by investigating long-run capital accumulation and economic growth as functions of the evolving age distribution of the population and the nature of pension schemes. Differently to most economic growth models, the IIASA macro-model explicitly introduces "realistic demography" by disaggregating the household sector (and all model outputs) by age cohorts. This kind of economic modeling is incorporated in a dynamic microsimulation framework by further disaggregation of the cohorts to the individual micro-level. Allowing for heterogeneous individual agents, economic and demographic behaviour can be modeled taking into account a wide set of individual and household characteristics. As part of this research a “microSSR “ software is developed, both as a tool for the testing of different behavioural theories and as a projection and forecasting tool.

Spielauer (2001) Microsimulation Modeling of Population, Economic Growth, and Social Security Systems - IIASA Interim Report IR-01-026 [pdf]
This paper presents a modeling and simulation framework that allows to incorporate the strengths of microsimulation in economic growth modeling in the context of demographic change. This is mainly done by restating and programming an existing neoclassical macroeconomic growth model in terms of microsimulation, which allows to explore and demonstrate some of the features microsimulation techniques can possibly "add" to this kind of modeling. The starting point of the analysis is the IIASA "Social Security Forecasting and Simulation Model", developed by the IIASA Social Security Reform (SSR) Project as described in MacKellar et al. (2000). This model was developed to study the influence of pension systems on the economy mainly by investigating long-run capital accumulation and economic growth as functions of the evolving age distribution of the population and the nature of pension schemes. Differently to most economic growth models, the IIASA macro-model explicitly introduces "realistic demography" by disaggregating the household sector (and all model outputs) by age cohorts. This kind of economic modeling is incorporated in a dynamic microsimulation framework by further disaggregation of the cohorts to the individual micro-level. Allowing for heterogeneous individual agents, economic and demographic behaviour can be modeled taking into account a wide set of individual and household characteristics. As part of this research a “microSSR “ software is developed, both as a tool for the testing of different behavioural theories and as a projection and forecasting tool.

2000

Spielauer (2000) Generational Solidarity and Conflict; Summary of the Seminar Discussion. In: Trnka, Family issues between gender and generations; Seminar Report. European Commission - Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs. - In: Trnka, Family issues between gender and generations; Seminar Report. European Commission - Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs. 2000 [pdf]
The European Observatory on Family Matters was established by the European Commission in 1989 to monitor developments that affect families: family policies, demographic, socio-economic and political changes, and trends in the development of different types of families. All of these have an impact not only on families but on children as well. The Observatory stimulates academic debate on family and childhood issues as well as on related policies. It organises annual seminars of Observatory experts and invited speakers. The 1999 Seminar of the European Observatory on Family Matters focused on family issues between gender and generations. This article summerizes the discussion of the conference session on generational solidarity and conflict.

Spielauer, Arpa (2000) Familienpolitische Analyse der Daten der Antragssteller des Erziehungszuschuîes I und II des Landes Tirol - Analyses of the 1999 data of applicants for family subsidies in Tyrol - Tyrolean Government, 2000

Spielauer (2000) Hochrechnungsprogramm zur Familienhilfe der niederösterreichischen Landesregierung - Model and software development for projections of family benefits in Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria); Study and (microsimulation) software-development for the Local Government of Low Austria - Government of Low Austria; 2000
The Austrian province “Low Austria” provides family benefits which complement federal family subsidies and are subject to frequent adaptation and change, as federal policies change. In this report we investigate costs and benefits of the provincial scheme and describe a projection software package developed as part of the project. The simulation program is a user-friendly tool for policy-maker and allows to change a variety of parameters of the existing system including means tests, benefits by income category, weighing of family members, and duration periods of benefits. The model output consists of monthly cost estimates for a three-year projection horizon what allows to study transition periods from one set of policies to other.

1999

Spielauer (1999) Neue Wege der Wohnbaufinanzierung im geförderten Mietwohnungsbereich - New ways of housing finance in the subsidized rental market - Municipality of Vienna

Spielauer (1999) Familienpolitische Analyse der Daten der Antragssteller des Erziehungszuschuîes I und II des Landes Tirol - Analyses of the 1998 data of applicants for family subsidies in Tyrol - Tyrolean Government, 1999

1997

Deutsch E, B. Neuroth, M. Spielauer (1997) Financing Intergenerational Urban Innovation - CECODHAS-HLM European Symposium of Housing and Services for the Elderly. Paris, 1997, 263-269

Deutsch, Spielauer (1997) Beitrag der Ausländer zur Wohnbaufinanzierung und Sozialtransfers im Wohnungsbereich. (Contribution of foreigners to housing finance and housing-related social transfers) - In: Gudrun Biffl et al., Ökonomische und strukturelle Aspekte der Ausländerbeschäftigung in Österreich, Austrian Institute for Economic Studies Book Series, Vienna, 1997
In Austria, 10% of income taxes are spent on housing related social transfers from which foreigners are mostly excluded. In this study, based on income data collected in the Micro census, we estimated the total net contribution of foreigners to the financing of housing policies.

Deutsch, Spielauer (1997) Riskenanalyse öffentlich gestützter Finanzierungs-garantien" (Risk analysis of guarantee funds under public assistance) - FGG (Finanzierungsgarantiegesellschaft), Wien, 1997

1996

Deutsch, Spielauer (1996) Eigenmittelerfordernis in der Mietfinanzierung - Own capital requirements in the housing finance of rental apartments - Research paper for the GBV, association of limited profit housing organizations

Deutsch, Schmid, Spielauer (1996) Abschätzung des öffentlichen Gesamtaufwands für Subjektförderungen im Wiener Mietwohnungsmarkt - Estimation of public costs of housing benefit schemes for the Viennese rental market - AK - Austrian Chamber of workers and employees

-----------------

* NOTE: Of course, I rather agree with Kundera in: “I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches. I feel, therefore I am is a truth much more universally valid, and it applies to everything that's alive. My self does not differ substantially from yours in terms of its thought. Many people, few ideas: we all think more or less the same, and we exchange, borrow, steal thoughts from one another. However, when someone steps on my foot, only I feel the pain. The basis of the self is not thought but suffering, which is the most fundamental of all feelings. While it suffers, not even a cat can doubt its unique and uninterchangeable self. In intense suffering the world disappears and each of us is alone with his self. Suffering is the university of egocentrism.” ? Milan Kundera, Immortality

         -> visit my world cycling page