Tutorial 8 - PyMacLab-to-Dynare++ Converter


PyMacLab comes shipped with a very useful dynare++ wrapper/translator which essentially possesses two types of functionality. First of all, it can translate a PyMacLab-formatted DSGE model files into a valid dynare++ model file. Secondly, it internally can pass this translated model file to dynare++, instruct it to solve the model, and then pass all of the solution objects back to PyMacLab where they get stored in the solution branch model.modsolvers.dynare..


Notice that in order for PyMacLab’s dynare++ wrapper/translator to function correctly, in a standard *nix environment you need to have a functioning (compiled or otherwise obtained) dynare++ binary (executable) program file in your local PATH. This means that dynare++ on your system can be called from any location inside you shell. Also important is that the Python library Mako is installed which is a templating library used in generating the dynare++ conformable model file. This library should however be automatically installed when you installed PyMacLab on your system.

The most basic functionality of the wrapper/translator works as follows calling the method model.mk_dynare() without any additional arguments:

# Import the pymaclab module into its namespace, also import os module
In [1]: import pymaclab as pm
In [2]: from pymaclab.modfiles import models

# Instantiate a new DSGE model instance like so
In [4]: rbc1 = pm.newMOD(models.stable.rbc1_focs)

# Use the dynare++ translator/wrapper as follows, by calling
In [5]: rbc1.mk_dynare()

# If the model solved, then check the contents of the dynare branch
In [6]: dir(rbc1.modsolvers.dynare)

Notice that all of dynare++’s computed solution objects (which are mostly matrices containing various types of information characterizing the solution to the model) have been attached to this solution branch as standard numpy matrices/scalars, which can then be inspected inside a normal scientific Python stack environment. The only two objects which are being computed in a derived fashion using dynare++’s results are the matrices model.modsolvers.dynare.PP and model.modsolvers.dynare.FF which are the implied solutions from dynare++’s output in the solution format which get internally computed in PyMacLab using the model.modsolvers.forkleind.solve() method instead.

This is useful as they can be directly compared and so checked for consistency between the different solution methods. Also important is the attribute model.modsolvers.dynare.modfile which is a string containing the PyMacLab-to-dynare++ translated model file which was passed to dynare++ in order to find the solution. Notice that in test runs it has not been uncommon to encounter situations in which PyMacLab’s internal algorithms successfully computed a model’s steady state, while dynare++ failed in doing so.

Finally, bear in mind that dynare++’s standard solution method uses an approximation around the level of the model’s steady state, and not the logarithm! This means that when you wish to compare solutions from dynare++ with those computed internally using PyMacLab’s model.modsolvers.forkleind.solve() method, to take one specific example, then first make sure to omit the [log] qualifier in the variable section for each variable defined in the PyMacLab DSGE model file. That way you are instructing PyMacLab to also employ approximations around the level and not the logarithm of the model’s SS.

The mk_dynare() solution method’s options

Sometimes it may be useful to instruct PyMacLab not to solve the model using dynare++ but instead just to generate the dynare++ conformable file for inspection by the model-builder. This can be done as follows:

# Import the pymaclab module into its namespace, also import os module
In [1]: import pymaclab as pm
In [2]: from pymaclab.modfiles import models

# Instantiate a new DSGE model instance like so
In [4]: rbc1 = pm.newMOD(models.stable.rbc1_focs)

# Use the dynare++ translator/wrapper as follows, by calling
In [5]: rbc1.mk_dynare(fpath='./test.mod')

In this case, no finding of a model solution would be attempted, but instead the PyMacLab-to-dynare++ translated model file would be copied into the location passed to the fpath= option. In the above example we are saving the translated dynare++ file into the current directory using the filename test.mod. For the above model file the generated dynare++ model file would look as follows:

var k, c, y, R, z;
varexo eps;

parameters z_bar, psi, sigma_eps, betta, eta, rho, delta, c_bar, R_bar, k_bar, y_bar;

z_bar = 1.0;
psi = 0.95;
sigma_eps = 0.052;
betta = 0.990099009901;
eta = 2.0;
rho = 0.36;
delta = 0.025;
c_bar = 2.0;
R_bar = 1.01;
k_bar = 30.0;
y_bar = 3.40222985854;

0=y - (k-(1-delta)*k(-1)) - c;
0=betta * ((((c(+1)^(-eta))))/((c^(-eta)))) * R(+1) - 1;
0=R - (1+(z(-1)*k(-1)^(-1 + rho)*rho)-delta);
0=y - (z(-1)*k(-1)^rho);
0=log(z) - psi*log(z(-1)) - eps;

R = 1.01;
c = 2.0;
k = 30.0;
y = 3.40222985854;
z = 1.0;
z = 1.0;

order = 1;

vcov = [ 0.002704 ];

Notice here that the starting values passed to dynare++’s non-linear steady state solver are already the solutions found by the non-linear solution algorithm used internally within the PyMacLab library itself. This particular function is useful in the sense that it may help model builders identify bugs or translation mistakes which may have occurred when converting the PyMacLab DSGE model to a dynare++ conformable format. Finally the full set of arguments which can be passed to the mk_dynare() method are given by model.mk_dynare(order=1,centralize=False,fpath=None,focli=None).

The first argument order= is clearly used to specify the order of approximation used, centralize= can be used to specify whether the approximation should be computed around the deterministic or the stochastic (or risky) steady state [1], while focli= accepts a list or tuple of index numbers in order to pick out a subset of specific equations from PyMacLab’s DSGE model file’s declaration of the nonlinear system of equations of the model’s first-order conditions of optimality. fpath= has already been discussed in the above and is an option which can be used in order to output the dynare++ conformable model file to a specific location in your computer’s file system.


[1]Dynare++ usually as default behaviour computes approximations around the stochastic or risk steady state. In order to be able to make comparisons between dynare++’s solutions and those obtained using most of the solution algorithms which are available internally to PyMacLab, it is important to pass the centralize=False option, which is the standard choice for mk_dynare‘s method call. That way dynare++ computes the solutions around the deterministic steady state of the model.

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