.ISSN (e) 1759-7331
(print) 1759-7323
Quantitative Economics
An open-access journal in quantitative economics
Journal of the
Econometric Society
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Quantitative Economics, Volume 11, Issue 2 (May 2020)

A narrative approach to a fiscal DSGE model

Thorsten Drautzburg


Structural DSGE models are used for analyzing both policy and the sources of business cycles. Conclusions based on full structural models are, however, potentially affected by misspecification. A competing method is to use partially identified SVARs based on narrative shocks. This paper asks whether both approaches agree. Specifically, I use narrative data in a DSGE‐SVAR that partially identify policy shocks in the VAR and assess the fit of the DSGE model relative to this narrative benchmark. In developing this narrative DSGE‐SVAR, I develop a tractable Bayesian approach to proxy VARs and show that such an approach is valid for models with a certain class of Taylor rules. Estimating a DSGE‐SVAR based on a standard DSGE model with fiscal rules and narrative data, I find that the DSGE model identification is at odds with the narrative information as measured by the marginal likelihood. I trace this discrepancy to differences in impulse responses, identified historical shocks and policy rules. The results indicate monetary accommodation of fiscal shocks.

Fiscal policy monetary policy DSGE model Bayesian estimation narrative shocks Bayesian VAR C32 E32 E52 E62

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