Policy Microsimulation

Workstrand 5

Leads - Alison Heppenstall                             Nik Lomax

Alison Heppenstall HeadshotNik Lomax Headshot

What is this workstrand about?

Workstrand 5 brings to life the synthetic populations generated in Workstrand 3, estimating how those populations are likely to change over time within each community.

We also assess how policy scenarios or changes in the environment may influence the characteristics of the population, including people’s health and wellbeing. Micromodelling allows us to assess what the impact might be on different sub-groups of the population (e.g. single parent households) within different geographical areas (such as neighbourhoods).

The effect of policy interventions or changes in individual circumstances are being assessed as “what if” experiments running into the future. For example, asking questions such as “what would happen to health if employment rates in young men could be increased and how does this compare to increasing employment rates in older men or young women?” or “what would happen to productivity in this area if older adults were to stay healthy for longer?”.

The scenarios we are modelling are being chosen on the basis of our policy partner’s priorities.

Workstrand Activities

Microsimulations, similar to the MINOS model created by Workstrand 5 are deployed in a wide range of contexts, both within the UK and internationally. For example, microsimulations are used to assess the outcomes of tax reforms or the health of the population after certain interventions (e.g. changing taxes on alcohol or tobacco).

SIPHER is using the model to analyse the health and wellbeing effects of different policy scenarios being considered by our policy partners. The models provide additional insight to the population-level models produced in Workstrand 4 because they uniquely focus the modelling at the level of individual persons.

A person-specific approach provides a great deal of flexibility in assessing differential effects across a wide range of population groups of interest to policy makers, allowing impacts on health inequalities to be examined in more detail.