FamilyScape 3.0: Architectural Overview

This technical paper documents the architecture of FamilyScape 3.0, a microsimulation model of pregnancy and childbearing developed by researchers at Child Trends, The Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families, and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. FamilyScape simulates the key antecedents of pregnancy (sexual activity, contraceptive behavior, and female fecundity) and many of its most important outcomes (e.g., childbearing within and outside of marriage, children’s chances of being born into poverty, and abortion). The model readily lends itself to policy simulations, since its parameters can easily be changed under the assumption that a given intervention has an effect on individual behavior.