Economic Policy Review

Policy Analysis Using DSGE Models: An Introduction

October 2010Volume 16, Number 2
JEL classification: E31, E52

Authors: Argia M. Sbordone, Andrea Tambalotti, Krishna Rao, and Kieran Walsh

Many central banks have come to rely on dynamic stochastic general equilibrium, or DSGE, models to inform their economic outlook and to help formulate their policy strategies. But while their use is familiar to policymakers and academics, these models are typically not well known outside these circles. This article introduces the basic structure, logic, and application of the DSGE framework to a broader public by providing an example of its use in monetary policy analysis. The authors present and estimate a simple New Keynesian DSGE model, highlighting the core features that this basic specification shares with more elaborate versions. They then apply the estimated model to study the sources of the sudden increase in inflation that occurred in the first half of 2004. One important lesson derived from this exercise is that the management of expectations can be a more effective tool for stabilizing inflation than actual movements in the policy rate. This result is consistent with the increasing focus on the pronouncements of central bankers regarding their future actions.

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