The Role of Microsimulation in Longitudinal Data Analysis

  • Douglas A. Wolf Center for Policy Research, Syracuse University, New York


Microsimulation is well known as a tool for static analysis of tax and transfer policies, for the generation of programmatic cost estimates, and dynamic analyses of socio-economic and demographic systems. However, microsimulation also has the potential to contribute to longitudinal data analysis in several ways, including extending the range of outputs generated by a model, addressing several defective-data problems, and serving as a vehicle for missing-data imputation. This paper discusses microsimulation procedures suitable for several commonly-used statistical models applied to longitudinal data. It also addresses the unique role that can be played by microsimulation in longitudinal data analysis, and the problem of accounting for the several sources of variability associated with microsimulation procedures.