Archive for April 2018

Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models for policy analysis

What are DSGE models?

Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are used by macroeconomists to model multiple time series. A DSGE model is based on economic theory. A theory will have equations for how individuals or sectors in the economy behave and how the sectors interact. What emerges is a system of equations whose parameters can be linked back to the decisions of economic actors. In many economic theories, individuals take actions based partly on the values they expect variables to take in the future, not just on the values those variables take in the current period. The strength of DSGE models is that they incorporate these expectations explicitly, unlike other models of multiple time series.

DSGE models are often used in the analysis of shocks or counterfactuals. A researcher might subject the model economy to an unexpected change in policy or the environment and see how variables respond. For example, what is the effect of an unexpected rise in interest rates on output? Or a researcher might compare the responses of economic variables with different policy regimes. For example, a model might be used to compare outcomes under a high-tax versus a low-tax regime. A researcher would explore the behavior of the model under different settings for tax rate parameters, holding other parameters constant.

In this post, I show you how to estimate the parameters of a DSGE model, how to create and interpret an impulse response, and how to compare the impulse response estimated from the data with an impulse response generated by a counterfactual policy regime. Read more…

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