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Parameter Estimation and Measures of Fit in A Global, General Equilibrium Model


  • Liu, Jing

    () (Household Credit Services)

  • Arndt, Channing

    () (Purdue University)


Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models have been widely used for quantitative analysis of global economic issues. However, CGE models are frequently criticized for resting on weak empirical foundations. This paper builds on recent work in macro-econometric estimation, developing an approach to parameter estimation for a widely employed global CGE model, the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model. An approximate likelihood function is developed and the set of optimum elasticity values is obtained by maximizing this approximate likelihood function in the context of a back casting exercise. In addition, two statistical tests are performed. The first of these tests compares the standard GTAP elasticity vector with the estimated trade elasticity vector. It rejects the null hypothesis of equality between the two sets of trade elasticities. The second test examines the widely maintained hypothesis known as the “rule of two”, by which the elasticity of substitution across imports by sources is set equal to twice the elasticity of substitution between domestic goods and imports. We fail to reject this common rule of thumb. We conclude that there is much to be gained by nesting CGE models within an estimation framework as this opens the way for formal evaluation of model performance and parameterization.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Jing & Arndt, Channing, 2004. "Parameter Estimation and Measures of Fit in A Global, General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 626-649.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:integr:0302

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Willenbockel, Dirk, 2009. "From overhang to hangover: consequences of protectionist responses to the global crisis for low-income countries," MPRA Paper 16100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Arief Yusuf & Budy Resosudarmo, 2015. "On the distributional impact of a carbon tax in developing countries: the case of Indonesia," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(1), pages 131-156, January.
    3. Patrizio Lecca & Kim Swales & Karen Turner, 2011. "Rebound Effects from Increased Efficiency in the Use of Energy by UK Households," Working Papers 1123, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    4. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
    5. Joshua Elliott & Meredith Franklin & Ian Foster & Todd Munson & Margaret Loudermilk, 2012. "Propagation of Data Error and Parametric Sensitivity in Computable General Equilibrium Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 39(3), pages 219-241, March.
    6. Hakim Ben Hammouda & Patrick N. Osakwe, 2008. "Global Trade Models and Economic Policy Analyses: Relevance, Risks and Repercussions for Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 26(2), pages 151-170, March.
    7. Hertel, Thomas W. & Keeney, Roman & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2004. "Global Analysis Of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Assessing Model Validity," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20199, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Christophe Heyndrickx & Natalia Tourdyeva & Victoria Alexeeva-Talebi, 2011. "The SUSTRUS model: a CGE model on regional level for sustainability policies in Russia," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1565, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Gustavo HERNÁNDEZ, 2013. "Una reseña de los efectos del Tratado de Libre Comercio entre Colombia y Estados Unidos," ARCHIVOS DE ECONOMÍA 011204, DEPARTAMENTO NACIONAL DE PLANEACIÓN.
    10. Dirk WILLENBOCKEL & Sherman ROBINSON, "undated". "The Global Financial Crisis, LDC Exports and Welfare: Analysis with a World Trade Model," EcoMod2009 21500091, EcoMod.
    11. Pratt, Stephen & Blake, Adam & Swann, Peter, 2013. "Dynamic general equilibrium model with uncertainty: Uncertainty regarding the future path of the economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 429-439.
    12. McDaniel, Christine A. & Balistreri, Edward J., 2002. "A Discussion on Armington Trade Substitution Elasticities," Working Papers 15856, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
    13. Mark Partridge & Dan Rickman, 2010. "Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modelling for Regional Economic Development Analysis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(10), pages 1311-1328.
    14. Koesler, Simon, 2014. "Specifying parameters in computable general equilibrium models using optimal fingerprint detection methods," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-092, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    15. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn, 2009. "Wage inequality, comparative advantage and skill biased technical change in South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    16. Hertel, Thomas, 2013. "Global Applied General Equilibrium Analysis Using the Global Trade Analysis Project Framework," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    17. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry, 2008. "The Gravity Model: An Illustration Of Structural Estimation As Calibration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 511-527, October.
    18. Waschik, Robert, 2009. "The effects of free trade areas on non-members: Modelling Kemp-Vanek admissibility," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 648-663, September.
    19. Edward J. Balistreri & Christine A. McDaniel & Eina Vivian Wong, 2003. "An Estimation of U.S. Industry-Level Capital-Labor Substitution," Computational Economics 0303001, EconWPA.
    20. repec:pra:mprapa:15377 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Thaiprasert, Nalitra, 2006. "Rethinking the Role of Agriculture and Agro-Industry in the Economic Development of Thailand: Input-Output and CGE Analyses (Ph.D. Dissertation)," MPRA Paper 1089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. repec:gta:jnlgea:v:2:y:2017:i:2:p:1-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Dan S. Rickman, 2010. "Modern Macroeconomics And Regional Economic Modeling," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 23-41.

    More about this item


    CGE models; estimation; validation; trade elasticities;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General


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