This is a periodic newsletter of the interesting things we’ve seen and what we are thinking about in open source policy analysis.

March Policy Simulation Library (PSL) meeting at AEI. The monthly PSL meeting will be held at noon on Monday, March 25 at AEI. This month, you’ll hear updates from various open-source projects and a presentation by Ernie Tedeschi (Evercore ISI) on the estimation of poverty rates in his research. Tedeschi’s novel approach to estimating poverty rates uses the OSPC-incubated Tax-Calculator model and the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey. RSVP here.

DARPA commissions development of an open-source, unhackable voting system. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently awarded a $10 million contract to an Oregon-based technology firm called Galois to develop a secure voting system that is fully verifiable and transparent. The technology will use open-source hardware developed in a recent DARPA program, and the agency will publish the source code, allowing for external researchers to probe the code for bugs and vulnerabilities. Link

Policy Change Index (PCI) analysis suggests China is not backing down on trade. The PCI is an OSPC-incubated model that predicts changes in Chinese policy by analyzing China’s state-run newspaper. While a recent spike in the index indicates a shift in Chinese policy priority, Julian Chan and Weifeng Zhong write in the China Business Review that the spike does not imply oncoming structural changes that might ease trade tensions with the US. Instead, an analysis of the PCI spike suggests that President Xi Jinping is ramping up his nationalist policies. Link

Open-source tool for climate simulation. The Global Calculator is an open-source model of the world’s energy, land, and food systems that allows users to test the climate impacts of various “pathways.” The tool was developed in a joint project between a number of international government agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations, including the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, the London School of Economics, and the World Resources Institute. While the tool is open source, many of the assumptions and estimates that it relies on are not open. Link

Tax-Calculator in the 2019 Economic Report of the President. In its annual report, the Council of Economic Advisers uses Tax-Calculator to analyze the expanded child tax credit provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Link

PSL releases its fiscal year 2019 midyear report. The OSPC-incubated Policy Simulation Library released its midyear report, detailing major updates from its first six months of operation and a road map for continued development. Link

Edited by Matt Jensen
American Enterprise Institute