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An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models of the impact of NAFTA

  • Timothy J. Kehoe

This paper evaluates the performances of three of the most prominent multisectoral static applied general equilibrium models used to predict the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement. These models drastically underestimated the impact of NAFTA on North American trade. Furthermore, the models failed to capture much of the relative impacts on different sectors. Ex-post performance evaluations of applied GE models are essential if policymakers are to have confidence in the results produced by these models. Such valuations also help make applied GE analysis a scientific discipline in which there are well-defined puzzles with clear successes and failures for competing theories. Analyzing sectoral trade data indicates the need for a new theoretical mechanism that generates large increases in trade in product categories with little or no previous trade. To capture changes in macroeconomic aggregates, the models need to be able to capture changes in productivity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 320.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:320
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  1. Raphael Bergoeing & Timothy J. Kehoe, . "Trade Theory and Trade Facts," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv129, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  2. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 1992. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 11-30, 01.
  3. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The long and short of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6721, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Timothy J. Kehoe, 1992. "Modeling the dynamic impact of North American free trade," Working Papers 491, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1973. "General Equilibrium with Taxes: A Computational Procedure and an Existence Proof," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 475-89, October.
  7. Brown, D.K., 1993. "Properties of Applied General Equilibrium Trade Models with Monopolistic Competition and Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers 321, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  8. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358 - 392.
  9. David Cox & Richard Harris, 1983. "Trade Liberalization and Industrial Organization: Some Estimates for Canada," Working Papers 523, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Kehoe, Timothy J & Polo, Clemente & Sancho, Ferran, 1995. "An Evaluation of the Performance of an Applied General Equilibrium Model of the Spanish Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 115-41, June.
  11. Richard Harris, 1983. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 524, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  13. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  14. de Cordoba, Gonzalo Fernandez & Kehoe, Timothy J., 2000. "Capital flows and real exchange rate fluctuations following Spain's entry into the European Community," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-78, June.
  15. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  16. Brown, D.K. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1991. "Some Estimates of a North American Free Trade Agreement," Working Papers 288, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  17. Brown, D.K. & Stern, R.M., 1988. "Computable General Equilibrium Estimates Of The Gains From U.S.-Canadian Trade Liberalization," Working Papers 220, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  18. Adams, Philip D. & Dixon, Peter B. & McDonald, Daina & Meagher, G. A. & Parmenter, Brian R., 1994. "Forecasts for the Australian economy using the MONASH model," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 557-571, December.
  19. Mary E. Burfisher & Sherman Robinson & Karen Thierfelder, 2001. "The Impact of NAFTA on the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 125-144, Winter.
  20. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Noyola, Pedro Javier & Manresa, Antonio & Polo, Clemente & Sancho, Ferran, 1988. "A general equilibrium analysis of the 1986 tax reform in Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 334-342, March.
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