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Computation of Business Cycle Models: A Comparison of Numerical Methods


  • Burkhard Heer
  • Alfred Maussner


We compare the numerical methods that are most widely applied in the computation of the standard business cycle model with flexible labor. The numerical techniques imply economically insignificant differences with regard to business cycle summary statistics except for the volatility of investment. Furthermore, these results are robust with regard to the choice of the functional form of the utility function and the model’s parameterization. In conclusion, the simplest and fastest method, the log-linearization of the model around the steady state, is found to be most convenient and appropriate for the standard business cycle model.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maussner, 2004. "Computation of Business Cycle Models: A Comparison of Numerical Methods," CESifo Working Paper Series 1207, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1207

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    1. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kollmann, Robert & Maliar, Serguei & Malin, Benjamin A. & Pichler, Paul, 2011. "Comparison of solutions to the multi-country Real Business Cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 186-202, February.
    2. Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maußner, 2009. "Computation of business-cycle models with the Generalized Schur method," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 173-182, September.
    3. Dissou, Yazid & Karnizova, Lilia, 2016. "Emissions cap or emissions tax? A multi-sector business cycle analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 169-188.
    4. repec:oup:wbecrv:v:31:y:2017:i:1:p:71-96. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Heer Burkhard & Maußner Alfred, 2011. "Value Function Iteration as a Solution Method for the Ramsey Model," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(4), pages 494-515, August.
    6. David R.F. Love, 2009. "Accuracy of Deterministic Extended-Path Solution Methods for Dynamic Stochastic Optimization Problems in Macroeconomics," Working Papers 0907, Brock University, Department of Economics.
    7. David R.F. Love, 2010. "Revisiting deterministic extended-path: a simple and accurate solution method for macroeconomic models," International Journal of Computational Economics and Econometrics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3/4), pages 309-316.
    8. Larin, Benjamin, 2016. "Bubble-driven business cycles," Working Papers 143, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
    9. Shantayanan Devarajan & Yazid Dissou & Delfin S. Go & Sherman Robinson, 2017. "Budget Rules and Resource Booms and Busts: A Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Analysis," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(1), pages 71-96.
    10. Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Comparing Numerical Methods for Solving the Competitive Storage Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 267-295, February.
    11. Paul Pichler, 2005. "Evaluating Approximate Equilibria of Dynamic Economic Models," Vienna Economics Papers 0510, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    12. Heiberger, Christopher & Klarl, Torben & Maußner, Alfred, 2015. "On the uniqueness of solutions to rational expectations models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 14-16.
    13. Hull, Isaiah, 2015. "Approximate dynamic programming with post-decision states as a solution method for dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 57-70.
    14. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Dissou, Yazid & Go, Delfin S. & Robinson, Sherman, 2014. "Budget rules and resource booms : a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6984, The World Bank.
    15. Burkhard Heer & Alfred Maußner, 2013. "Asset Returns, the Business Cycle and the Labor Market," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(3), pages 372-397, August.
    16. Christopher Heiberger & Torben Klarl & Alfred Maussner, 2012. "A Note on the Uniqueness of Solutions to Rational Expectations Models," Discussion Paper Series 319, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    17. Larin, Benjamin, 2016. "A Quantitative Model of Bubble-Driven Business Cycles," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145817, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item


    log-linearization; projection methods; extended path; value function iteration; parameterized expectations; genetic search;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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