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New Centre for Microsimulation and Policy Analysis to be based at ISER

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The University of Essex has announced the creation of a new Centre to be based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

The Centre for Microsimulation and Policy Analysis (CeMPA) will lead the field in microsimulation, bringing together the expert team at ISER with colleagues from specialisms across the University of Essex, including Mathematics, Computer Science, Data Analytics, Sociology and Economics. They will be joined by colleagues from leading institutions around the world.

Led by Professor Matteo Richiardi, CeMPA will build on the strong history of microsimulation innovation at ISER, with our ground-breaking EUROMOD model now forming the basis for over 48 models for countries around the world, helping governments to understand the impact of policy changes and nowcasting poverty rates ahead of official data release.

CeMPA will publish new research and train future experts through a programme of postgraduate study as well as continuing to support countries and governments with technological advice on creating and analysing microsimulation data.

Professor Christine Raines, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Essex, said: ‘Our new Centre for Microsimulation and Policy Analysis affirms Essex’s place as the home of microsimulation approaches to address a range of societal issues. Our world-leading experts have helped developed models to test tax and benefit policy making in 48 countries, creating crucial tools for governments. This work is needed now more than ever at this unprecedented moment in global history. Our experts are advising governments in the UK and beyond on the implications for ordinary people of any changes to tax and benefit policies. CeMPA will bring together expertise from across a number of Essex specialisms - from mathematicians to data scientists to economists - for the first time, and fittingly at home in our world-leading interdisciplinary social science research centre, ISER.’

Professor Matteo Richiardi, Director of CeMPA and Professor of Economics at the University of Essex, said: ‘Our research on distributional issues, from tax and benefit systems to family, gender, health, wellbeing, and population change, is focused around two tools that we have developed over the years and that we offer open source to the scientific community, with a wide range of models and applications: the static microsimulation platform EUROMOD, now jointly developed with the European Commission, and the dynamic microsimulation platform JAS-mine. Together, they cover all areas in microsimulation, from tax-benefit to dynamic microsimulation and agent-based modelling.

‘We are a team of economists, sociologists and political scientists who focus on integrating tax-benefit and dynamic microsimulation models to study the distributional and aggregate consequences of public policies in light of population and economic change, within a life course perspective. This is a crucial moment in history for innovative and robust interdisciplinary social and economic research and we will play a leading part in its future.’

There will be a launch webinar featuring new Covid-19 analysis from around the world presented by the CeMPA team and associates on Wednesday 8th July from 2pm BST. View the full programme and register via eventbrite on this link

Visit the new Centre for Microsimulation and Policy Analysis website and follow @CeMPAEssex on Twitter