New Zealand as a social laboratory

Timeframe

2014–2018

Funders

  • Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi
  • Te Pūnaha Matatini
  • Faculty of Arts

COMPASS staff

  • Peter Davis
  • Roy Lay-Yee
  • Martin von Randow
  • Kevin Chang

Description

The principal objective was to use existing data to create a dynamic representation of New Zealand society in which virtual experiments on matters of policy and substantive interest could be conducted. The period was 1981 to 2006, and a series of virtual experiments were conducted. The project built on an existing programme of research conducted over the last decade at COMPASS, as can be seen from the main microsimulation page.

This project extended the microsimulation methodology to the unique New Zealand Longitudinal Census product, enabling simulation of the entire life span starting from the cross-sectional New Zealand population from 1981. With our inquiry system operational spanning the life course, we were able to incorporate and interrogate significant issues of policy, scientific, and public interest.

The principal outcome from the project is the 2019 publication Simulating societal change: Counterfactual modelling for social and policy inquiry.

Outputs

Davis P, Lay-Yee R. Simulating Societal Change: Counterfactual Modelling for Social and Policy Inquiry. Springer Nature, 2019. (Book)

The source code for the simulation package can be found at https://github.com/kcha193/simarioV2.

The visualisation tool can be found at https://compassnz.shinyapps.io/SociaLabShiny/ with the source code at https://github.com/kcha193/SociaLabShiny.