Morgane Dumont - Creating a European microsimulation to assess the effects of socio-economic policies on health and health inequalities : challenges, solutions and limitations.

  • Presenting author: Morgane Dumont (HEC - ULiege)

  • Authors: Dumont, M; Islam, N; Liegeois, P; Suhrcke, M.

  • Session: A02C - Health [1] - Monday 16:30-18:00 Senate Hall

There is widespread support for the notion that health is far from being determined solely by healthcare alone, and that instead what may matter no less – and perhaps even more – is the social and economic conditions in which people live. There is similarly widespread support for the idea that in order to close part or all of the gap in health between the rich and the poor within countries (to achieve “health equity”), it would take the contribution of larger scale social and economic policies. What is much less clear is how precisely specific social and economic policies do or can impact health as well as the distribution of health across the socioeconomic gradient. And yet, such evidence is needed to inform policymakers interested in achieving set health improvement and health equity objectives. While some evidence may be gathered from empirical policy evaluations, this limits the choice of policies to those that have actually been implemented, excluding those that could hypothetically be realised. This is the potential contribution of microsimulation, which, however has hitherto been focused on evaluating primarily economic outcomes (e.g. earnings, income, employment) that are commonly the first-order targets of major economic policies (such as fiscal policies ,…). We propose to build on the extensive European microsimulation work (esp. EUROMOD) by incorporating an explicit modelling of the interrelationships between socioeconomic factors, policies and health. This will then serve as a framework in which hypothetical socio-economic policies can be evaluated in terms of their health (equity) effects. We will present the various steps that need to be taken to arrive at a fully dynamic model, and discuss the different options, including advantages and disadvantages at each juncture, as to how the modelling can be implemented.