Propagation of Data Error and Parametric Sensitivity in Computable General Equilibrium Models
Computational Economics, 2011
Posted: 4 May 2011 Last revised: 13 Mar 2016
Date Written: January 5, 2011
While computable general equilibrium (CGE) models are a well-established tool in economic analyses, it is often difficult to disentangle the effects of policies of interest from that of the assumptions made regarding the underlying calibration data and model parameters. To characterize the behavior of a CGE model of carbon output with respect to two of these assumptions, we perform a large-scale Monte Carlo experiment to examine its sensitivity to base year calibration data and elasticity of substitution parameters in the absence of a policy change. By examining a variety of output variables at different levels of economic and geographic aggregation, we assess how these forms of uncertainty impact the conclusions that can be drawn from the model simulations.We find greater sensitivity to uncertainty in the elasticity of substitution parameters than to uncertainty in the base-year data as the projection period increases. While many model simulations were conducted to generate large output samples, we find that few are required to capture the mean model response of the variables tested. However, characterizing standard errors and empirical probability distribution functions is not possible without a large number of simulations.
Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium Models, Uncertainty, Sensitivity
JEL Classification: C68
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation