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How to Maximize the Likelihood Function for a DSGE Model

  • Martin Andreasen


This paper extends two optimization routines to deal with objective functions for DSGE models. The optimization routines are i) a version of Simulated Annealing developed by Corana, Marchesi & Ridella (1987), and ii) the evolutionary algorithm CMA-ES developed by Hansen, Müller & Koumoutsakos (2003). Following these extensions, we examine the ability of the two routines to maximize the likelihood function for a sequence of test economies. Our results show that the CMA-ES routine clearly outperforms Simulated Annealing in its ability to find the global optimum and in efficiency. With 10 unknown structural parameters in the likelihood function, the CMA-ES routine finds the global optimum in 95% of our test economies compared to 89% for Simulated Annealing. When the number of unknown structural parameters in the likelihood function increases to 20 and 35, then the CMA-ES routine finds the global optimum in 85% and 71% of our test economies, respectively. The corresponding numbers for Simulated Annealing are 70% and 0%.

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Article provided by Society for Computational Economics in its journal Computational Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 127-154

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Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:35:y:2010:i:2:p:127-154
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  1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles : a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Working Paper Research 109, National Bank of Belgium.
  3. An, Sungbae & Schorfheide, Frank, 2005. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 5207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  5. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2006. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000849, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. David Altig & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2010. "Firm-specific capital, nominal rigidities and the business cycle," International Finance Discussion Papers 990, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Martin Møller Andreasen, 2008. "Ensuring the Validity of the Micro Foundation in DSGE Models," CREATES Research Papers 2008-26, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  8. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 12022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
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