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ECB: Smets-Wouters (2003) Model
The main difference between empirical DSGE models and the more traditional macroeconometric models (such as the AWM) is that both the parameters and the shocks to the structural equations are related to deeper structural parameters describing household preferences and technological and institutional constraints.

These micro foundations have three advantages:

  1. They provide a theoretical discipline on the structure of the model that is being estimated, which may be particularly helpful in those cases where the data themselves are not very informative, for example regarding the long-run behaviour of the economy or because there has been a regime change.
  2. Being able to relate the reduced-form parameters to deeper structural parameters makes the use of the model for policy analysis more appropriate, i.e. less subject to the Lucas critique, as those structural parameters are less likely to change in response to changes in policy regime.
  3. Micro-founded models may provide a more suitable framework for analysing the optimality of various policy strategies as the utility of the agents in the economy can be taken as a measure of welfare.

For these reasons, staff at the ECB and the Eurosystem have started to develop empirical DSGE models for monetary policy analysis. The Smets-Wouters (2003) Model is an example of such a medium-sized DSGE model, which has been estimated on the basis of quarterly euro area macro data. The model features three types of economic agents: households, firms and the central bank. Households decide how much to consume, how much to invest and how much to work and at what wage. Firms employ workers and capital and decide how much to produce and at what price to sell their products.

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 02:14:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would seem, from the ECB's own description, especially point 1, that the primary virtue they see in their DSGE model is that it allows them to proclaim any policy they wish based on any conditions that arise. This is probably as close to an admission of that reality as we are likely to get.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 09:36:53 AM EST
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Empirical models? That's not very Serious.

but I suppose they model all the entities as rational actors with perfect knowledge... That would be the Serious thing to do.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 11:31:08 AM EST
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You can make Serious models with imperfect information, as long as you don't try to do it as an undergrad. You need to be properly indoctrinated what model behaviour to aim for, or you might end up modelling imperfect information in a manner that is too close to how it actually operates in the real world.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 11:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would lack elegance and so be Wrong.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2011 at 11:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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