Recent changes in the social policy development arena in New Zealand mean that traitional methods of social policy analysis are not now adequate for all analyses. Microsimulation is a technique that can provide another dimension to social policy analysis.
The thesis starts by discussing some of the major social policy developments in New Zealand pointing out some of the weaknesses in the analyses accompaning them. The thesis then goes on to introduce microsimulation as a technique that can help improve the analysis of social policy. However, the main body of the thesis consists of the development of a microsimulation model, a discussion of the database upon which the model is based, and an analysis carried out using the model.
The thesis demonstrates the usefulness of microsimulation models in identifying impacts of social policy changes on small sectors of the population. It does this by simulating the income effects of the increase in the qualification age for National Superannuation on the population sector aged sixty to sixty - five.
Although the thesis demonstrates the effectiveness of microsimulation models, the project uncovered a number of areas where currently available data are not sufficiently adequate for the methodology to be utilised to the full. The thesis finishes by suggesting a number of areas where further development could be productive and assist in improving the quality of social policy analysis.