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Microsimulation of a welfare law reform

How to estimate the financial implications of a public policy reform in the canton of Geneva?

The project

In the context of a reform review of the Law on Integration and Individual Social Assistance (LIASI for its french acronym) in the Canton of Geneva, the relevant authorities requested an analysis of the financial consequences of this review.

The research team, consisting of the Institute for Applied Research in Economics and Management (IREG), the University of Geneva and CORESO, was commissioned to carry out this assessment. The objective is to estimate the costs as well as the consequences for the recipients according to different versions of the reform.

Our contribution

The research team applied a combination of expertise in local knowledge on public policy and that of the topic, as well as a solid scientific basis in microsimulation, to assess the costs of the reform. A close participatory collaboration with the canton's experts allowed to identify different scenarios and parameters of the reform in order to find the most balanced combination.

CORESO's role consisted in developing a microsimulation model, which proved to be the most appropriate quantitative technique, to analyse the effects of the reform both in terms of total costs and benefits at each beneficiary level. The possible scenarios were fed and evaluated collectively by the stakeholders involved. This approach allowed for the inclusion of field knowledge and fostered a multidisciplinary exchange in an effort to identify possible changes in the beneficiaries' behaviour as a result of the reform.

The result

The analysis carried out allowed the public authorities to have an accurate view of the possible financial implications for the canton of Geneva and its beneficiaries under different variants of the reform. This allowed them to base their policy decision-making on empirical evidence.

This study was completed and delivered to the concerned authorities during the third quarter of 2021. Our punctual analytical support continues.

Additional links

Department of Social Cohesion (Geneva, documents available in French only):

Legislation adopted on social assistance and tackling precarity

Draft Bill on social assistance and the fight against precariousness

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