What if analysis is a powerful tool that will help your council cost different proposals, and more importantly, highlight the benefits of proposals that are requesting funding from the Federal Government.
What if analysis uses the economic modelling and demographic modelling outlined on other pages to identify the impact of changes in an area on the economics and demographics in a community. This planning can include changes in land zoning; changes in population demographics; changes in rates; and changes in housing.
Other modelling techniques applied at an individual level can also be used for what if analysis, like agent based modelling.
As an example, what if analysis can show how much extra rates a council will receive from increased migration into the area; how much this will cost in terms of new services required; and what secondary benefits might accrue to the community (for example, increased spending in local shops; increased volunteering for local groups; etc). This is all done using individual level data, so local data on volunteering; local expenditure vs travelling to spend; etc, can be calculated and applied to individuals.
Examples of Published Work
Tanton, Vidyattama, McNamara, Vu and Harding (2009), “Old, Single and Poor: Using Microsimulation and Microdata to Analyse Poverty and the Impact of Policy Change among Older Australians”, Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 28: 102-120. doi:10.1111/j.1759-3441.2009.00022.x