The reform, the costing, its model, and data

Special report. The nation of economists. Economics in the face of public power (twentieth to twenty-first centuries) Vol. 2
Changes in the monopoly on economic expertise through microsimulation as an evaluation tool for the French socio-fiscal system
By Franck Bessis, Paul Cotton

This article explains how microsimulation, a new ex ante assessment method, became the “gold standard” to make and evaluate the effects of socio-fiscal reform. Primarily designed under costing-obsessed administrations, microsimulation models were initially developed with a lack of coordination, prompting institutions and teams leading the development to compete as well as cooperate. At the end of the 2000s, a new chapter began. The near-monopoly of microsimulation administration began to wane as academic economists gradually returned with renewed interest in the field. This led to a redrawing of the microsimulation landscape, which, despite the existence of competing companies, affirmed the status of this tool’s monopoly on the way in which reforming the socio-fiscal system is conceived.

  • microsimulation
  • public policy evaluation
  • evaluation tool
  • socio-fiscal system
  • economists
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