A Comparison of Twelve Macroeconomic Models of the Canadian Economy

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In this report, the authors examine and compare twelve private and public sector models of the Canadian economy with respect to their paradigm, structure, and dynamic properties. These open-economy models can be grouped into two economic paradigms. The first is the "conventional" paradigm (or Phillips curve paradigm) and the second is the "money matters" paradigm. Under the conventional paradigm, inflation is determined by price adjustments in response to inflation expectations and by factor disequilibrium in labour or product markets. Under the money matters paradigm, inflation is determined mainly by monetary disequilibrium. Although most models are based on the conventional paradigm, there are nevertheless important differences within that paradigm. In particular, there are differences in the inflation process (linear/non-linear Phillips curve), the expectation processes (backward-looking and/or model-consistent expectations), the channels through which monetary policy affects the economy (short-term interest rates or the yield curve), and the sensitivity of output and inflation to changes in interest rates and the exchange rate. The authors also examine the dynamic properties of the various models when those models use the simple monetary reaction function proposed by Taylor (1993). The eight deterministic shocks considered in this report reveal significant differences in the dynamic properties of the participating models. A comparison of the models' impulse-response functions with those of a vector autoregression suggests that some models do better than others in reflecting the typical response of the Canadian economy to certain shocks.