Macro-Modeling Aspects of Adjustment Policy Planning
The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate macro-modeling tools for policy planning in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the current context of economic restructuring policies with concern for sustainable and poverty-alleviating growth. The chapter also represents a component of an ongoing applied research effort to design economic modeling tools which, combined with the appropriate planning institutions and processes, can effectively contribute to building capacity for policy definition, simulation, and monitoring in SSA. The next step in the research agenda will be devoted to the institutional aspects of the planning process in SSA.
Although specific modeling experiments and country applications are frequently cited for illustrative purposes, this investigation is not a case study of any specific model implemented in SSA in the 1990s. Rather, the objective is to investigate different classes of macroeconomic modeling frameworks that have been applied here and there in the subcontinent, to identify their distinguishing features -- including underlying theoretical paradigms, essential assumptions, model structures, and data requirements -- and to assess their effectiveness as regular instruments of the policy dialogue in SSA.
This raises the question of what criteria should be used to evaluate alternative models and assess their chances of being successful as policy- planning tools in SSA. Here, one must address the issue of what constitutes "success or failure" for modeling experiments that are intended to provide a country with regular policy-planning instruments. It is our view that a successful modeling experiment is one that is so designed and implemented that the instrument survives the development phase and sees regular uses for policy planning in the country, even when original model developers have departed. Consequently, a brief "tour d'horizon" of the status of diverse modeling