Downloading the MCF Model
The documentation for the MCF model is in The MCF Model Workbook: January 29, 2011 , Appendix A: The US Part of the MCF Model: January 29, 2011, and Appendix B: The ROW Part of the MCF Model: January 29, 2011. You should also read Chapter 2 of Estimating How the Macroeconomy Works.

Data from the MCF model can be downloaded online by going to the output phase when working with the MCF model and downloading from there.

If you want to download the MCF model for use on your own machine, this can be done by downloading the Fair-Parke (FP) program and the MCF model files that go with the FP program. One of the files that needs to be downloaded is about 22 MB in size.

The following are the downloadable files:

FP.ZIP    761 KB   Contains FP.EXE, the FP compiled program.

MC.ZIP    319 KB    Contains the following files, which are called by SP7.INP or by STIMUL.INP:

  • SP7.INP
  • SHR1.INP
  • SHR2.INP
  • XX95.INP

SP7BIN.ZIP    21,992 KB    Contains SP7.BIN: all the data (1960.1-2020.4).

SP7OUT.ZIP    2,452 KB    Contains SP7.OUT: the output file from executing SP7.INP.

FPCOD.ZIP    221 KB    Contains FP code if you want to compile yourself (optional).

To work with the MCF model once you have downloaded the files and unzipped them, run at the DOS prompt:


This job loads all the data, estimates the model, and runs a test job. The output from the test job is in the file SP7.OUT, and your OUT file should match SP7.OUT subject to rounding error. If so, then everything is probably working properly.

You need to know how to use the FP program in order to work with the MC model. You may want to download the FP test examples from the website and run these first in order to get familiar with the program. (See The Fair-Parke Program.)

There are many comments in SP7.INP and in the .INP files that it calls. You should read these carefully to make sure you know what is going on. You should note the following:

  1. A number of "tricks" have to be used in SP7.INP to link the quarterly and annual data. These are noted in the file. The annual data are stored in the first quarter, with the remaining three quarters having "missing" values. A lag of 4 for an annual country is a lag of one year, not four years.
  2. There are two sets of trade share variables (the alphas): A____ and AA____. The AA____'s are the ones predicted by the trade share equations, and the A____'s are the ones that are constrained to sum to 1. The trade flow variables are denoted X____.
  3. A solution period must begin in the first quarter of a year and end in the fourth quarter of a year. Otherwise the tricks of linking the quarterly and annual data do not work.
  4. The stochastic equations are numbered 1 through 307 (before getting to the trade share equations). The PRINTMODEL command allows you to see the numbering of the equations.
  5. Note the different treatment before and after 1999.1 regarding the EMU countries (dummy variables EU1 and EU2). This is explained in comments in SP7.INP.
  6. Once you learn how to work with the MC model in the FP program, all the FP commands are at your disposal, and so much experimentation can be done.
  7. Some of the data for 2009 and 2010 do not match exactly the data used for the coefficient estimates. This is because some of the data are predicted data that differ slightly from the actual data when the actual data are available. Actual data were used for the coefficient estimates for the website version of the model, whereas predicted data are used for the downloaded version of the model. This only concerns a few countries and only for at most 2009 and 2010, and the coefficient-estimate differences are small. This is nothing one need worry about.
  8. If you use STIMUL.INP in SP7.INP, you can run the stimulus experiment in Chapter 9 of The MCF Model Workbook: January 29, 2011 . You can also bootstrap the MCF model to get estimated standard errors of the stimulus multipliers. Using bootstrapping is somewhat complicated, and you should read Chaper 9 in Estimating How the Macroeconomy Works and the bootstrapping discussion in the The Fair-Parke User's Guide before running this job. The code uses 100 trials (which you can change), which requires considerable computer time since the entire MCF model is reestimated on each trial.