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Project: MicMac

Bridging the micro-macro gap in population forecasting

The project "Bridging the micro-macro gap in population forecasting (MicMac)" was financed by the Sixth Framework Programme. The aim was to develop an instrument to monitor and forecast demographic change for the provision of high quality and sustainable health care services and pensions systems. To build sustainable systems policy-makers need to know in sufficient detail the changes in size and age structure of the population, in the health and disability status, in employment status, in level of education and in living arrangement. MicMac models the life course of individuals and groups of individuals (cohorts; populations). It stratifies the population by age and (birth) cohort and monitors and forecasts how the characteristics for a given cohort of people change with age (life course) and how these changes differ between cohorts. In other words, MicMac distinguishes multiple cohorts (overlapping generations) and monitors and forecasts intra-cohort and inter-cohort variations in life histories. MicMac is a generic model. It can be applied to any domain of life. Examples include employment histories, health histories, fertility histories, and educational histories.

To enhance the application of MicMac, user-friendly software was proposed. The MicMac software is object-oriented. An object performs a particular task, such as maximization of the likelihood function in estimating transition rates, the graphic display of the age structure of the population, and the estimation of the effect of a delay in onset of disability on total life expectancy and health expectancy. The objects are combined in three major modules. The pre-processor prepares the input data for alternative projections. The processor projects biographies and the future size and composition of the population. It generates biographies for cohorts (Mac) and individual cohort members (Mic). The post-processor processes the results and prepares standard tabulations and graphics.

The project started on the 1st of May, 2005 and finished on 30 April 2009.

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