About
MicroZAMOD – simulating tax and benefit policies for development in Zambia

MicroZAMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, has been developed in cooperation with the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR), and Southern African Social Policy Research Insights (SASPRI). The newest available version of MicroZAMOD is based on the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey (LCMS) 2010 and 2015, allowing for representative results on the national and sub-national level. Policies are simulated for 2010 and 2015-2017 (based on updated household level data from 2010 and 2015). International Labour Organization (ILO) joined the MicroZAMOD initiative and supports the establishment of an inter-ministerial policy and technical users group for MicroZAMOD.

MicroZAMOD is a highly versatile yet easy to use tool for policymakers and researchers alike. Possible policy reform simulations in MicroZAMOD include, for example, a scaled-up social cash transfer scheme, a universal child benefit, a universal pension payment to the elderly or a youth unemployment benefit.

With MicroZAMOD the number of beneficiaries and the total cost to the state budget can be simulated and characteristics of the prospective recipients analysed (such as: Are prospective recipients more likely to live in urban or rural areas? Do they work in the formal sector or not? etc.). MicroZAMOD also allows one to calculate the effects on the government’s budget (How much would such a policy cost?) including, for example, how tax rates could be increased to offset the additional expenditures on social protection.

MicroZAMOD was launched in November 2017. The first training course was organized in collaboration with ILO and took place in 2017 in Lusaka, Zambia with participants from the Zambian government, civil society organizations and academia.

Adhesion agreement MicroZAMOD v2.3
User manual v1.4

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Video training

This training course explains how to set up and use the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, MicroZAMOD. It aims at giving the users of SOUTHMOD models an introduction to microsimulation in general and the MicroZAMOD model v1.4 in particular

MicroZAMOD 1 | a short introduction

In this video, we describe the MicroZAMOD model and introduce the SOUTHMOD research project. This is the first video in a series of five videos that together form a training course on how to set up and use the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, MicroZAMOD.

We start by briefly explaining what microsimulation is and what it can be used for. The session also explains the data and policies that are included in the current version of the MicroZAMOD model v1.4, for what purpose the model can be used, and how it works. Finally, we look at the MicroZAMOD user interface and give an overview of what is covered in the rest of the training course. 

MicroZAMOD 2 | getting started

In this video, we explore MicroZAMOD in more detail and depth. This is the second video in a series of five videos that together form a training course on how to set up and use the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, MicroZAMOD v1.4

Here we introduce the policies included in the model, especially the definitional and tax policies, and go through how to navigate the interface. We define the spine, and explain why the order in which the policies are listed in the model is important. The video also introduces constants, income lists, and tax units and policies. We briefly touch upon benefit policies as well, although these will be covered more thoroughly in the third video of the training course. We conclude the video by going through the naming conventions of EUROMOD and MicroZAMOD.

MicroZAMOD 3 | tax and benefit policies

In this video, we will look at how tax-benefit policies are constructed. This is the third video in a series of five videos that together form a training course on how to set up and use the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, MicroZAMOD v1.4.

Here we define systems, policies, functions, and parameters and explain how they relate to each other. The policy functions Elig, ArithOP, BenCalc, and SchedCalc are covered in detail. At the end of the video we give step-by-step instructions on how to run the model and access the output.

MicroZAMOD 4 | policy changes

In this video, we will build on what was covered in the previous video. This is the fourth video in a series of five videos that together form a training course on how to set up and use the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, MicroZAMOD v1.4.

We will explain how to add a new system to MicroZAMOD, how to change an existing policy in the model, and how to add a new policy. We will also show how to do all of these in the MicroZAMOD interface.

MicroZAMOD 5 | walking through the model

In this video, we will walk you through the whole MicroZAMOD model and look at the policies in detail. This is the last video in a series of five videos that together form a training course on how to set up and use the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia, MicroZAMOD v1.4.

The video starts with reviewing the user interface, focusing on the tabs: the country and administration tools, and the applications. We will briefly go over the variables tool. We then move on to cover the policies in the model from definitional policies, income policies, and tax policies to social benefit policies. Finally, we show where to access the output file and statistics presenter.