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Working Paper, No. 2009-19, January 2009
Can Structural Small Open Economy Models Account for the Influence of Foreign Disturbances?

This paper demonstrates that an estimated, structural, small open economy model of the Canadian economy cannot account for the substantial influence of foreign-sourced disturbances identified in numerous reduced-form studies. The benchmark model assumes uncorrelated shocks across countries and implies that U.S. shocks account for less than 3 percent of the variability observed in several Canadian series, at all forecast horizons. Accordingly, model-implied cross-correlation functions between Canada and U.S. are essentially zero. Both findings are at odds with the data. A specification that assumes correlated cross-country shocks partially resolves this discrepancy, but still falls well short of matching reduced-form evidence.

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