[Reply by Oct 22] Aggregating PSL project updates, Sep 23 to Oct 22

  • Reporting period: Sep 23 to Oct 22, 2020
  • Reply by: Oct 22, 2020 (Thu)
  • Aggregated draft to be posted here by: Oct 23, 2020 (Fri)


This is a thread to aggregate project updates for the October NumFOCUS and PSL newsletters. Please reply with developments pertinent to the projects you have worked on during the reporting period. Please include URLs where applicable.

Items to consider:

  1. New releases or features
  2. General updates
    • Recent achievements you’re most proud of
    • What are you working on? What’s coming up? Where do you need help?
    • Upcoming events
    • Job openings

Feel free to contact me with questions. Thanks!

  • Cost-of-Capital-Calculator has updated its documentation ( at http://pslmodels.github.io/Cost-of-Capital-Calculator/, moving it to a Jupyter Book format.

  • OG-USA has added calibrations to model earners at the very top of the income distribution, including capturing those in the top 0.01% (PR #652).

  • OG-USA now allows users to specify heterogenous discount factors as in Carroll et al. (Quantitative Economics, 2017) (PR #655).

TaxBrain 2.4.0 was released on October 10

  • ParamTools is now using Jupyter Book for documentation at https://paramtools.dev.
  • ParamTools will have a new API for accessing and querying values in the upcoming 0.16.0 release.

Sorry for coming in at the last minute with these updates Weifeng!

Below are the aggregated updates for NumFOCUS newsletter. The aggregated updates for PSL newsletter are in this pull request.

Please reply with corrections or edits by noon on Tuesday, 10/27/2020.


The Policy Simulation Library (PSL) is a collection of open-source models and software for public-policy decisionmaking.

Recent releases:

  • Tax-Brain , a package for multiple open source tax models, released 2.4.0 that updates its production of automated reports.
  • OG-USA , an overlapping-generations model for U.S. fiscal policy, now models very top earners and heterogenous discount factors.
  • Cost-of-Capital-Calculator and ParamTools have a documentation makeover with Jupyter Book.

General announcements:

  • American Enterprise Institute released a study, powered by OG-USA and Tax-Calculator , on the revenue, distributional, and macroeconomic effects of Joe Biden’s tax proposal.
  • Hoover Institution released a study, powered by Tax-Calculator , on the economic effects of a broad array of Joe Biden’s proposed fiscal and regulatory policies.
  • PCI-Outbreak , an algorithm that estimates the true scale of COVID-19 in China, is discussed in an Observer Research Foundation blog post.

Upcoming events:

  • PSL is hosting its inaugural demo day! Matt Jensen (American Enterprise Institute) will demonstrate how to create policy reform files for use with various PSL models on November 2 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
  • Next month’s PSL community calls: 3-4 p.m. ET on Nov 10 and 24. Come join our calls and contribute to the various projects!