PAD-78-14 1 (1977-11-25)

handle is hein.gao/gaobaawhm0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 

04266 - [B3324556]

An Evaluation of the Use of the Transfer Income Model (TRIM) to
Analyze Welfare Programs. PAD-78-14; B-115369. November 25,
1977. 95 pp. + 3 appendices (12 pp.).

Report to the Congress; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General.

Issue Area: Automatic Data Processing (100); Income Security
    Programs (1300) ;Program Evaluation Systems: New Techniques
    and Stanlards (2602).
Contact: Program Analysis Div.
Budget Function: Income Security: Fublic Assistance and Other
    Income Supplements (6041 ; Miscellaneous: Automatic Data
    Processing (1001) .
Organization Concerred: Department of Health, Education, and
    Welfare; Department of Housing and Urban Development;
    Department of the Treasury; Department of Agriculture.
 Conqressional Relevance: House Committee on Ways and Means;
     Senate Committee on Finance; Congress.

          conceptual models, simplified representations of
 issues, are used within Government to perform pregram and policy
 analyses of complex issups in sich areas as social welfare,
 food, energy, and transportation. She Transfer Income Model
 (TRIM) was designed to provide estimates of costs, caseloads,
 a.Ad income distributional effects of existing income tax and
 means-tested transfer programs, modifications to these programs,
 and proposed means-tested programs. Findings/Conclusions: Since
 models are based on simplifications of assumptions,
 approximations, and judgments, the validity of results can be
 affected. The number of versions and modifications made it
 difficult to determine which TRIM vzsion had been used for a
 particular policy analysis. Assumptions were mad& in thi model
 to compensate for lack of accuracy, completeness, and
 currentness of data sources; other assumptions concerned
 trAns :. program characteristics that affect estimates.
 Documeatation supporting the model la-ked information on test
 results; there were some errors in the computer code; and the
 model was difficult to use. Since estimates made by TRIM are
 subject to uncertainty, the model should only be used to assess
 relative impacts of changes in welfare programs and as a
 research tool; it should iiot be used to provide absolute
 estimates. Its results should be used cautiously for long-term
 projectio is, and when developing absolute estimates, information
 indicating uncertainty of estimates should be provided.
 Recommendations: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
 snould r-assess the adequacy of models being used to support
 welfare policy analysis, including: indentifying and obtaining
 additional data needed to analyze issues; identifying corrective
 measures needed to make analytical tools more effective and
 making necessary improvements; insuring that mcdels are well
 documented, updated, and reassessed; and performing periodic

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