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Dynare is a software platform for handling a wide class of economic models.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dynare is a software platform for handling a wide class of economic models, in particular dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) and overlapping generations (OLG) models. The models solved by Dynare include those relying on the rational expectations hypothesis, wherein agents form their expectations about the future in a way consistent with the model.

 

But Dynare is also able to handle models where expectations are formed differently: on one extreme, models where agents perfectly anticipate the future; on the other extreme, models where agents have limited rationality or imperfect knowledge of the state of  the economy and, hence, form their expectations through a learning process.

 

In terms of types of agents, models solved  by Dynare can incorporate consumers, productive firms, governments, monetary authorities,  investors and financial intermediaries. Some degree of heterogeneity can be achieved by including several distinct classes of agents in each of the aforementioned agent categories.

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Dynare offers a user-friendly and intuitive way of describing these models. It is able to perform simulations of the model given a calibration of the model parameters and is also able to estimate these parameters given a dataset. In practice, the user will write a text file containing the list of model variables, the dynamic equations linking these variables together,  the computing tasks to be performed and the desired graphical or numerical outputs.


A large panel of applied mathematics and computer science techniques are internally employed by Dynare: multivariate nonlinear solving and optimization, matrix factorizations, local functional approximation, Kalman filters and smoothers, MCMC techniques for Bayesian estimation, graph algorithms, optimal control, etc. Economist readable references to the litterature can be found here.

Various public bodies (central banks, ministries of economy and finance, international organisations) and some private financial institutions use Dynare for performing policy analysis exercises and as a support tool for forecasting exercises. In the academic world, Dynare is used for research and teaching purposes in postgraduate macroeconomics courses.

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Dynare is a free software, which means that it can be downloaded free of charge, that its source code is freely available, and that it can be used for both non-profit and for-profit purposes.

 

Most of the source files  are covered by the GNU General Public Licence version 3 or later (there are some exceptions to this, see the file license.txt in Dynare distribution). It is available for the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and is fully documented through a user guide and a reference manual. Part of Dynare is programmed in C++, while the rest is written using  the Matlab programming  language. The latter implies that commercially-available Matlab software is required in order to run Dynare. However, as an alternative to Matlab, Dynare is also able to run on top of Octave (basically a free clone of Matlab): this possibility is particularly interesting for students or institutions who cannot afford, or do not want to pay for, Matlab and are willing to bear the concomitant performance loss.

 

Downloading Dynare .

You are about to download Dynare.

You have the choice between the stable release and the unstable snapshot. The stable release is recommended for most users. The unstable snapshot is only for those who want the very latest features and are willing to take some risks (this version is less tested).

 

Also, if you don’t have MATLAB, you need to download Octave in order to run Dynare.

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