Belmod project

BELMOD is a project financed by the European Commission. Its aim is twofold:

  1. to modernize the FPS Social Security’s microsimulation tool and
  2. to improve access to social protection in Belgium.

This new microsimulation tool will be used to design an evidence-based national reform plan aimed at furthering the automatization of social rights.  We understand automatization in this context not only as automatically granting social benefits (the most advanced form of automatization) but it is also understood as automatically identifying potential beneficiaries (Take project).

The FPS’ existing simulation tool MIMOSIS allows policy makers to assess whether planned reforms will yield satisfactory results. MIMOSIS can be used to estimate the budgetary impact of the proposals and to identify who will be affected (either positively or negatively) and who will not - or to a lesser extent only.

To enhance cooperation and knowledge exchange between the main actors of static microsimulation in Belgium and Europe, MIMOSIS will be integrated in EUROMOD. The latter is a simulation tool developed by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of Essex) and is widely used by both academics and policymakers.

The model produces comparable outputs for all member states; it is continually updated and developed and can be linked to other types of models (behavioral, macro-economic or environmental). Moreover, it has a user friendly interface and is well organized, documented, validated and transparent.

The BELMOD microsimulation model will thus combine the accuracy of MIMOSIS with the user-friendliness of EUROMOD. The current accuracy of MIMOSIS is mainly due to the level of detail contained in its input dataset. This input dataset is based on a large sample of administrative data, which not only assures representativeness of small, specific subgroups of the population but also representativeness on the regional level. In addition, the level of detail of information on income and benefits allows for accurate simulations of means tested benefits.

Concise description of data

The dataset is based on the MIMOSIS dataset, which contains employment and income data of the year 2015 about 335.000 families, or 996.000 individuals – about 9% of the Belgian population. This sample was taken from the Labour Market & Social Protection Datawarehouse (LM&SP DWH) of the Crossroads Bank for Social Security (CBSS). The sample is disproportionally stratified to be able to generate reliable results for both the national and regional level (including the Brussels-Capital-Region and the German-speaking area). Additionally, the input dataset includes data from the FPS Finance’s IPCAL-database, as well as the STIPAD/CADNET-database.

Contact

natascha.vanmechelen@minsoc.fed.be

Timeline

2019 2020 2021
Constructing inputdata & launching development BELMOD Developing & testing BELMOD Drawing up national reform programme

Partners

BELMOD  is a research project funded by DG Employ – EaSI of the European Commission, coordinated by the Belgian Federal Public Service Social Security. The University of Essex and the University of Antwerp act as co-applicants, the National Pension Office and the National Institute for Sickness and Disability Insurance contribute as associate organizations. Some tasks will be executed by subcontractors (Belgian Federal Planning Bureau and KU Leuven).

Federal Public Service Social Security

The FPS Social Security acts as coordinator for the project.

  • Arne Corselis    
  • Silke Laenen
  • Suzan Martens
  • Frédéric Sauvage
  • Natascha Van Mechelen
  • Ilse Verschueren

Contact: Natascha.vanmechelen@minsoc.fed.be

University of Antwerp

The Centre for Social Policy Herman Deleeck (CSB) works on inequality and poverty in industrialized countries and contributes to issues of (multi-dimensional) measurement as well as analysis of outcomes in relation to institutions and policies. The CSB has a comprehensive and coherent research programme with a focus on the study of socioeconomic inequalities in developed and emerging welfare states, especially as these affect the most vulnerable. The research consists of: 1) addressing the question “equality of what?” and developing corresponding tools to measure poverty and inequalities; 2) developing measures to capture policy efforts and changes; 3) analysing the relationship between policies and socioeconomic outcomes; and 4) studying alternative avenues to improve the situation of the least well-off.

  • Ella-Marie Assal
  • Tim Goedemé
  • Julie Janssens
  • Pétra Levay
  • Gerlinde Verbist

Contact: Gerlinde.verbist@uantwerpen.be

University of Essex

Originally established in 1989 at the University of Essex to house the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), ISER has grown into a leading centre for the production and analysis of longitudinal studies. It encompasses the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change and the successor to the BHPS, Understanding Society. As well as providing unrivalled postgraduate study opportunities, ISER also houses an internationally-renowned Microsimulation Unit which develops and runs the tax and benefit model, EUROMOD.

  • Diego Collado
  • Jack Kneeshaw
  • Kostas Manios
  • Alari Paulus (2019)
  • Matteo Richiardi

Contact: Jack Kneeshaw <kneejw@uessex.be>

Federal Planning Bureau

The FPB is an independent public agency that makes forecasts, carries out research and analyses public policy measures. Its main mission is to support the political decision-making process. For that purpose, it shares its expertise with the government, parliament, social partners and national and international institutions. The FPB carries out studies and projections on economic, social and environmental policy issues and on the integration of these policies within a context of sustainable development.

  • Joanna Geerts
  • Yannick Thuy
  • Guy Van Camp
  • Dieter Vandelannoote

Contact: Dieter Vandelannnoote <dvdl@plan.be>

KU Leuven

The team of the KU Leuven Department of Economics consists of four researchers  and is led by professor André Decoster. In recent years, they have built up a great deal of expertise in the field of microsimulation models. They developed numerous other microsimulation models such as ASTER (a demand system simulating the response to consumer price changes), MIMOSIS (a microsimulation model of taxes, social security contributions and benefits based on administrative data), FANTASI (a detailed model of personal income taxes), and the Indirect Tax Module for the EUROMOD microsimulation model (commissioned by JRC). Besides, together with the University of Antwerp, they form the Belgian national team responsible for maintaining and updating the EUROMOD microsimulation model.

  • Zoé Rongé
  • Jonas Vanderkelen
  • Toon Vanheukelom
  • Stijn Vanhoutven

Contact: jonas.vanderkelen@kuleuven.be