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Validating energy-oriented CGE models

Jayson Beckman (), Thomas Hertel () and Wallace Tyner ()

Energy Economics, 2011, vol. 33, issue 5, 799-806

Abstract: Although CGE models have received heavy usage -- particularly in the analysis of broad-based policies relating to energy, climate and trade, they are often criticized as being insufficiently validated. Key parameters are often not econometrically estimated, and the performance of the model as a whole is rarely checked against historical outcomes. As a consequence, questions frequently arise as to how much faith one can put in CGE results. In this paper, we employ a novel approach to the validation of a widely utilized global CGE model -- GTAP-E. By comparing the variance of model-generated petroleum price distributions - driven by historical demand and supply shocks to the model - with observed five-year moving average price distributions, we conclude that energy demand in GTAP-E is far too price-elastic over this medium run time frame. After incorporating the latest econometric estimates of energy demand and supply elasticities, we revisit the validation question and find the model to perform more satisfactorily. As a further check, we compare a deterministic global general equilibrium simulation, based on historical realizations over the five year period: 2001-2006, during which petroleum prices rose sharply, along with growing global energy demands. As anticipated by the stochastic simulations, the revised model parameters perform much better than the original GTAP-E parameters in this global, general equilibrium context.

Keywords: Energy; Model; validation; GTAP-E (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

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