GHAMOD – simulating tax and benefit policies for development in Ghana
The GHAMOD model is freely accessible for non-commercial research use. You may request access to the model here.
GHAMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Ghana, is a highly versatile yet easy to use tool for policymakers and researchers alike. It allows the user to analyse and compare the effects of different benefit policy scenarios on poverty, inequality, and government revenues. The model applies user-defined tax and benefit policy rules to micro-data on individuals and households and calculates the effects of these rules on household income.
With GHAMOD, users can simulate reforms of the Ghanaian tax and benefit system. They can estimate, for example, the number of beneficiaries and analyse the characteristics of the prospective recipients of a hypothetical benefit. GHAMOD also allows users to implement hypothetical income tax and social security reforms and calculate their effects on inequality and the government budget. Existing policies or past policy reforms can be evaluated as well.
GHAMOD can answer questions such as:
- Are prospective recipients more likely to live in urban or rural areas?
- Do they work in the formal or informal sector?
- How much would a certain policy reform cost?
- How could tax rates be increased to offset the additional expenditures on social protection?
Possible policy reform simulations in GHAMOD include for example:
- a universal child benefit
- a universal pension for the elderly
However, the model allows the simulation of multitude of other policy reforms as well. These include but are not limited to social policies such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, and others such as the Free Senior High School programme.
GHAMOD has been developed in cooperation with the University of Ghana. The newest available version of GHAMOD is based on the 2013 and 2017 Ghana Living Standards Surveys (GLSS), allowing for representative results at the national and regional level. Policies are simulated for the years 2013-2022.
GHAMOD was launched for public use in May 2017, when the first training course for potential users in academia and government agencies took place. The second training event followed in 2018 and the third event in 2021. In 2019, the training event was replaced by a Policy workshop, where results from three research studies using GHAMOD where introduced. In 2022 and 2023, the training event took place as a so-called research retreat, intended to empower participants to use the model to answer specific policy questions and to develop policy notes based on model simulations.