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Optimization in a Simulation Setting: Use of Function Approximation in Debt Strategy Analysis

  • David Jamieson Bolder
  • Tiago Rubin

The stochastic simulation model suggested by Bolder (2003) for the analysis of the federal government's debt-management strategy provides a wide variety of useful information. It does not, however, assist in determining an optimal debt-management strategy for the government in its current form. Including optimization in the debt-strategy model would be useful, since it could substantially broaden the range of policy questions that can be addressed. Finding such an optimal strategy is nonetheless complicated by two challenges. First, performing optimization with traditional techniques in a simulation setting is computationally intractable. Second, it is necessary to define precisely what one means by an "optimal" debt strategy. The authors detail a possible approach for addressing these two challenges. They address the first challenge by approximating the numerically computed objective function using a function-approximation technique. They consider the use of ordinary least squares, kernel regression, multivariate adaptive regression splines, and projection-pursuit regressions as approximation algorithms. The second challenge is addressed by proposing a wide range of possible government objective functions and examining them in the context of an illustrative example. The authors' view is that the approach permits debt and fiscal managers to address a number of policy questions that could not be fully addressed with the current stochastic simulation engine.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 07-13.

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Length: 92 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:07-13
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  1. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
  2. Mansoorian, Arman & Myers, Gordon M., 1993. "Attachment to home and efficient purchases of population in a fiscal externality economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 117-132, August.
  3. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David J. Bolder & Grahame Johnson & Adam Metzler, 2004. "An Empirical Analysis of the Canadian Term Structure of Zero-Coupon Interest Rates," Staff Working Papers 04-48, Bank of Canada.
  5. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  6. Peter Sephton, 2005. "Forecasting inflation using the term structure and MARS," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 199-202.
  7. David Jamieson Bolder, 2006. "Modelling Term-Structure Dynamics for Risk Management: A Practitioner's Perspective," Staff Working Papers 06-48, Bank of Canada.
  8. Bolder, David & Streliski, David, 1999. "Yield Curve Modelling at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 84, Bank of Canada.
  9. Peter Sephton, 2001. "Forecasting recessions: can we do better on MARS?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 39-49.
  10. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
  11. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Rønde, Thomas, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment and Spillovers through Workers' Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  14. David Jamieson Bolder, 2003. "A Stochastic Simulation Framework for the Government of Canada's Debt Strategy," Staff Working Papers 03-10, Bank of Canada.
  15. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2003. "Participation in Export Markets and Productivity Performance in Canadian Manufacturing," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2003011e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  18. David Jamieson Bolder, 2001. "Affine Term-Structure Models: Theory and Implementation," Staff Working Papers 01-15, Bank of Canada.
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