Graham Stark - Modelling Public Acceptability of Tax and Benefit Changes

  • Presenting author: Graham Stark (Open University (UK) / Northumbria University (UK))

  • Authors: Joe Crisp (IPR Bath), Daniel Johnson (Northumbria University), Elliot Johnson (Northumbria), Dan Nettle (Northumbria/Ecole Normale Superieure Paris), Howard Reed (Northumbria/Landman Economics Ltd.), Graham Stark (Northumbria, Open University)

  • Session: B02B - Public Choice [1] - Tuesday 11:00-12:30 - Marietta-Blau Hall

We describe a novel microsimulation model built at the University of Northumbria, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research. The model combines conventional tax-benefit microsimulation with Conjoint Analysis. Conjoint Analysis is survey based technique that produces estimates of how popular a scheme with multiple attributes (tax rates, poverty levels, etc.) would be with the general public. Using our model a policy maker can easily see not only the usual impacts of a policy change (gainers and losers, incentive effects, inequality, etc.) but also an indication of the overall acceptability of the scheme with the general public, and an indication of which parts of the scheme are popular and which unpopular. Conjoint Analysis is commonly used in commercial product development and political campaigning, but we believe this is its first use in a fiscal context. The model also has the capacity to model health outcomes of income changes; we will also discuss this aspect if time permits. The talk will include a live demonstration of the online version of the model.