A Small Open Economy DSGE Model for Pakistan

Publication Year : 2008

In recent years there has been a growing interest in academics, international policy institutions and central banks1 in developing small-to-medium, even large-scale, open economy macroeconomic models called Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) models based on new-Keynesian framework.2 The term DSGE was originally used by Kydland and Prescott (1982) in their seminal contribution on Real Business Cycle (RBC) model. The RBC model is based on neoclassical framework with micro-founded optimisation behaviour of economic agents with flexible prices. One of the critical assumptions of this model is that fluctuations of real quantities are caused by real shock only; that is, only stochastic technology or government spending shocks play their role. Later research in DSGE models however included Keynesian short-run macroeconomic features (called nominal rigidities), such as Calvo (1983) type staggered pricing behaviour and Taylor (1980) type wage contracts. Hence this new DSGE modeling framework labeled as new-neoclassical synthesis or new-Keynesian modeling paradigm. 3 This new approach combines micro-foundations of both households and firms optimisation problems and with a large collection of both nominal and real (price/wage) rigidities that provide plausible short-run dynamic macroeconomic fluctuations with a fully articulated description of the monetary policy transmission mechanism; see, for instance, Christiano, et al. (2005) and Smets and Wouters (2003). The key advantage of modern DSGE models, over traditional reduce form macroeconomic models, is that the structural interpretation of their parameters allows to overcome the famous Lucas critique (1976).4 Traditional models contained equations linking variables of interest of explanatory factors such as economic policy variables. One of the uses of these models was therefore to examine how a change in economic policy affected these variables of interest, other things being equal. In using DSGE models for practical purposes and to recommend how central banks and policy institutions should react to the short-run fluctuations, it is necessary to first examine the possible sources,5 as well as to evaluate the degree of nominal and real rigidities present in the economy. In advanced economies, like US and EURO area, it is easy to determine the degree of nominal and real rigidities as these economies are fully documented. In developing economies like Pakistan, where most of economic activities are un-documented (also labeled as informal economy, black economy, or underground economy), it is very difficult to determine the exact degree of nominal and real rigidities present in the economy. However, one can approximate results using own judgments and through well defined survey based methods