RWAMOD – simulating tax and benefit policies for development in Rwanda
The RWAMOD model is freely accessible for non-commercial research use but input data has to be manually constructed. Access to the model and the Stata do-files necessary to produce the underpinning input dataset for the model can be requested here.
RWAMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Rwanda, 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 RWAMOD, users can simulate reforms of the Rwandan 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. RWAMOD 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.
RWAMOD can answer for example following questions:
- Do the prospective recipients of a new cash transfer work in the formal or informal sector?
- How much would such a policy cost?
- How could tax rates be increased to offset the additional expenditures on social protection?
Possible policy reform simulations in RWAMOD include for example:
- a universal child benefit
- a universal pension payment to the elderly
- a youth unemployment benefit
- change in the income tax schedule
However, the model allows the simulation of a multitude of other policy reforms as well.
RWAMOD has been developed in cooperation with Rwanda Revenue Authority, Rwanda University and Southern African Social Policy Research Insights (SASPRI). The latest version of RWAMOD is based on the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV) 2016/17, allowing for representative results at the national level. Policies are simulated for the years 2017–2022.
The first training course on RWAMOD was organized in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2022 including participants from the Rwandan government, local research institutions, and academia.
In Rwanda the co-operation with RRA covers also administrative tax data work in Rwanda done under the Building up efficient and fair tax systems project.