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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the performance of three of the most prominent multisectoral static applied general equilibrium (GE) models used to predict the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These models drastically underestimated the impact of NAFTA on North American trade. Furthermore, the models failed to capture much of the relative impact 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 evaluations 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 inproductivity. Herbert Scarf's work on the computation of economic equilibrium has transformed the way economists think about putting general equilibrium (GE) theory to use. Previous economists – notably Leontief (1941), Johansen (1960), and Harberger (1962) – had matched simple GE models to data and used these models to answer important economic questions. Scarf's work (1967, 1973) on computation forged the link between applied GE analysis and the theory of general economic equilibrium developed by researchers such as Arrow and Debreu (1954) and McKenzie (1959). Let me give a partial account of and reflections on the development of applied general equilibrium models. This is not a true scholarly account but relies primarily on my own impressions over the years. It originated as an after-dinner speech and should be regarded as a written version of one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling
Subtitle of host publicationIn Honor of Herbert Scarf
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages378-401
Number of pages24
Volume9780521825252
ISBN (Electronic)9780511614330
ISBN (Print)9780521825252
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

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Applied general equilibrium model
Evaluation
Free trade agreements
Applied general equilibrium
General equilibrium analysis
Economists
Product category
Economics
Macroeconomics
General equilibrium model
General equilibrium theory
Politicians
Economic equilibrium
Confidence
Performance evaluation
General economic equilibrium

Cite this

Kehoe, T. J. (2005). An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models on the impact of NAFTA. In Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling: In Honor of Herbert Scarf (Vol. 9780521825252, pp. 378-401). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614330.014

An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models on the impact of NAFTA. / Kehoe, Timothy J.

Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling: In Honor of Herbert Scarf. Vol. 9780521825252 Cambridge University Press, 2005. p. 378-401.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Kehoe, TJ 2005, An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models on the impact of NAFTA. in Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling: In Honor of Herbert Scarf. vol. 9780521825252, Cambridge University Press, pp. 378-401. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614330.014
Kehoe TJ. An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models on the impact of NAFTA. In Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling: In Honor of Herbert Scarf. Vol. 9780521825252. Cambridge University Press. 2005. p. 378-401 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614330.014
Kehoe, Timothy J. / An evaluation of the performance of applied general equilibrium models on the impact of NAFTA. Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling: In Honor of Herbert Scarf. Vol. 9780521825252 Cambridge University Press, 2005. pp. 378-401
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