Jesse Lastunen is a research associate at UNU-WIDER, where his work focuses on tax-benefit microsimulation models. He has previously worked for organizations such as OECD, RAND Corporation, Internet Association, and the Technopolis Group, conducting policy-oriented research on labour markets and emerging technologies.
Jesse received his PhD in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, with analytical concentrations in economics and quantitative methods. He has master’s degrees in international economics and technology policy.
Working PaperTax-benefit microsimulation model in Rwanda: A feasibility study
This paper assesses the feasibility of developing a tax and benefit microsimulation model in Rwanda...Tax-benefit microsimulation Revenue Microsimulation
Technical NoteOn-model adjustment of incomes during COVID-19 in SOUTHMOD tax-benefit microsimulation models
This note describes methods to derive employment-to-unemployment transition shares across industries during the COVID-19 pandemic and to use these shares in SOUTHMOD tax-benefit microsimulation models to adjust relevant labour market variables...COVID-19 Shocks Unemployment
Working PaperDoes the adoption of peer-to-government mobile payments improve tax revenue mobilization in developing countries?
Developing countries need to raise sufficient tax revenue to finance development. Revenue mobilization is often hampered by limited tax compliance, weak institutions, and technical problems with tax collection...Mobile money Tax revenue Propensity score matching
PresentationSOUTHMOD presented at the Zurich Conference on Public Finance in Developing Countries
The 6th Zurich Conference on Public Finance in Developing Countries brings together leading economists working on public economics in developing countries on 13-15 December 2021. The online event provides an opportunity for researchers from...
BlogThe pandemic and Africa's social safety net
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that African tax and social-benefit systems are currently ill-equipped to protect households from sudden income losses...Tax-benefit microsimulation SOUTHMOD Sub-Saharan Africa
BlogEfforts to protect the poor during COVID: How five African countries fared
The number of people living in poverty around the world is estimated to have increased by half a billion people due to the COVID-19 crisis...COVID-19 Sub-Saharan Africa Tax-benefit policy
Presumptive tax, a final tax on business income, was introduced in Uganda in 1997. It has been reformed several times since its conception...Uganda presumptive tax Tax administration
Working PaperAn assessment of presumptive tax in Uganda: Evaluating the 2020 reform and four alternative reform scenarios using UGAMOD, a tax-benefit microsimulation model for Uganda
Presumptive tax, a final tax on business income, was introduced in Uganda in 1997. The latest reform to the regime in July 2020 sought to make the system more progressive, simpler, and fairer to small firms...presumptive tax Tax administration Small business
In 2020, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic caused an economic crisis that disrupted the Ugandan labour market. How large were the associated income losses across different industries and population groups?...COVID-19 Income distribution Poverty
BlogWorking together to better understand how COVID-19 affects poverty and inequality
In summer 2020 the SOUTHMOD team set out, with partners, to analyse the impact of government policies on protecting households from getting poorer and avoiding societies from becoming more unequal...COVID-19 Income distribution Poverty
Working PaperThe mitigating role of tax and benefit rescue packages for poverty and inequality in Africa amid the COVID-19 pandemic
This paper analyses the distributional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related tax-benefit measures in 2020 in a cross-country comparative perspective for five African countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia...COVID-19 Income distribution Poverty
Technical NoteImputation methods for adjusting SOUTHMOD input data to income losses due to the COVID-19 crisis
This note sets out two different methods on how to adjust incomes in the microdata underlying the standard SOUTHMOD models to reflect a sudden shock, in this case the COVID-19 shock, as done in the accompanying working paper by Lastunen et al...Imputation Income Survey data
Technical NoteFull-year adjustment for modelling COVID-19 policies in SOUTHMOD tax-benefit microsimulation models
This technical note presents a modelling approach used in Lastunen et al. (2021) where tax and benefit policies are scaled to reflect their actual duration during a single calendar year...COVID-19 Tax-benefit microsimulation Poverty
Technical NoteDeriving shocks to household consumption expenditures from the associated income shocks resulting from COVID-19
This note, which forms part of a series of technical notes that complement Lastunen et al. (2021) , reports the approach used to derive shocks to household expenditures from shocks at the individual-level labour incomes...COVID-19 Income Shocks
Policy seminarAssessing Presumptive Tax Policy in Uganda
This online event will be organized to introduce the results of an assessment of presumptive tax policy in Uganda. The seminar will cover effect estimates of Uganda's recent presumptive tax reform and recommendations for amending the tax regime...
WorkshopDeveloping a tax-benefit microsimulation model for Rwanda
As part of the SOUTHMOD project, the national team at the Rwanda Revenue Authority ( RRA ), in collaboration with UNU-WIDER and SASPRI , are organizing a training event to prepare for the development of a dedicated tax-benefit microsimulation model...