Writing reforms#

In PolicyEngine country packages, reforms are defined as Python objects that specify a way to modify a tax-benefit system. This can include changes to the parameter tree, or to variables. Generally, here’s how to write a reform:

from policyengine_core.reforms import Reform

class reform(Reform): # Inherit from the Reform class
    def apply(self): # You must define an apply method

Modifying parameters#

To modify parameters, you should define modify_parameters method. This should be a function of a ParameterNode and should return the same ParameterNode (but modified). For example:

def modify_parameters(parameters):
    parameters.benefits.child_benefit.amount.update(period="2019-01", value=100)
    return parameters

For most cases, you’ll be able to do everything you need with the update method. This takes a period and a value and updates the parameter to that value for that period. You can also optionally specify a start and stop instant to specify the period over which the change should be applied.

Modifying variables#

To add a variable, define it in the same way the country package does. For example:

class new_variable(Variable):
    value_type = float
    entity = Person
    label = "New variable"
    definition_period = YEAR

The add_variable method takes this class as its argument. It’ll throw an error if the variable already exists. If you want to override an existing variable, use update_variable instead.

To neutralize a variable, use the neutralize_variable method. This takes the name of the variable as its argument, and ensures that this variable returns zero (or the default value) for all periods (essentially, removes all formulas).