Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation

Moving health simulation findings into programs, practices, and policies

The Future Americans Model

The Future Americans Model (FAM) is an economic-demographic microsimulation that extends the Roybal Center’s Future Elderly Model (FEM) to the entire adult population in the United States.

As with its predecessor, the FAM involves three key components. The first component includes the transition models of health, education, family and work and earnings. The second component is an “initial conditions model” to feed the model new cohorts as younger groups enter the relevant ages of the model. To accomplish this, the FAM’s infrastructure generates new cohorts using information on demographic and health trends currently observed among younger cohorts. The outcomes of these cohorts are then projected using the transitional probabilities from the first step. The third and final component, the “policy outcomes module,” aggregates outcomes into health and cost measures such as taxes, medical care costs (by payer e.g. Medicare, Medicaid, out-of-pocket), QALYs, and life expectancies.

Specific issues being analyzed with the FAM include:

Early Childhood determinants of health in old age. Researchers aim to simulate the control and treated cohorts from a well-known early childhood intervention, the Carolina Abecedarian project (ABC), using FAM. Roybal Center are working with James Heckman from the University of Chicago to review the preliminary results of the ABC intervention on health and the main aspects of the data from the ABC project. The first stage is to adapt the FAM framework in such a way that it can take the data from the ABC surveys as input to build entering cohorts. Researchers are expecting to use this adaptation of the FAM framework to study several questions related to the health and economic impact of early childhood interventions like the Carolina Abecedarian project.

Featured resources:
– Full technical documentation (pdf document)
– Technical documentation companion file (xml document)