Mar 21, 2022

CEF Course Helps Develop Just-in-Time Skills in Modeling Methodology

Our recent course on Macroeconomic Modeling for Open Economies 2 addressed dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models and their use in impact analysis. The course looked into the complexities of DSGE models, such as non-linearities and the optimal policy mix, and built on the skills and methods addressed in the first part of the course in 2021. We were happy to talk to Ms. Marija Drenkovska about her experience and personal learning takeaways from these two online courses. Ms. Drenkovska attended both courses and found the content very relevant to her work at Banka Slovenije, where she is involved in developing and implementing macroprudential policy measures and assessing their transmission and impact on the economy.

Where do you work and what motivated you to join the course on Macroeconomic Modeling for Open Economies? 

I work in the financial stability and macroprudential policy department at Banka Slovenije. In my experience, working at a smaller national bank with limited resources meant rising up to the necessity of becoming an “expert” in different fields. And for economists, who are set up for life-long learning and fully welcome such a role, that experience is more of a blessing than a curse. That is why courses like Macroeconomic Modeling for Open Economies offered by the CEF are an invaluable source of knowledge and hands-on training for economists coming from central banks and other institutions that seek to nurture and deepen their expertise.

This course was an intensive training of technical skills that are required to develop and use a simple DSGE model of a national economy. Which new insights or ideas did you gain by participating in this course and how do you anticipate using them in your practice?

As someone with quite limited formal training in DSGE models, I found both courses, Macroeconomic Modeling for Open Economies 1 and 2, to be quite an intensive but highly rewarding experience. The first course provided me with the skills and understanding to derive and build my very first small NK DSGE model, while the consequent course expanded my understanding of the mechanics behind expanded and specialized DSGE models. The latter is especially important for my department where we are expected to create, calibrate and implement macroprudential instruments, and later also evaluate their effects on the financial system and the real economy. 

Such results and learning outcomes would not have been possible without the dedication, professionalism, and generosity of our lecturer, Michel Juillard, whose lectures were well thought-out and even more skillfully executed.

Certainly, all that would not have been possible without the well organized and professional CEF staff, who did an amazing job in making our journey through the challenging and intensive training smoother with their clear communication, timely coordination, and presence and availability.

How did you find the unit dedicated to example sessions that supplemented the training? Did you find learning from other countries’ examples of macroeconomic models valuable?

The value of the example sessions depends on several aspects. Firstly, the benefit depends on the nature of the materials covered and the training curriculum. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, their value is highly dependent on to which degree the example sessions are related to the course material and the practical component that they offer. For example, a session that provides also a hands-on sample code and focuses on the practical challenges that were faced and solved at the lecturer’s institution may powerfully supplement the core training. On the other hand, for trainings that aim to deliver a challenging or a wider curriculum (as is usually the case with introductory courses), perhaps securing an additional day to cover the core training program might be more beneficial for the participants than an extra example session.