Since it is the dominant paradigm of the business cycle and growth literatures, the stochastic growth model has been used to test the performance of alternative numerical methods. This paper applies the finite element method to this example. I show that the method is easy to apply and, for examples such as the stochastic growth method, gives accurate solutions within a second or two on a desktop computer. I also show how inequality constraints can be handled by redefining the optimization problem with penalty functions.
We estimate a dynamic general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy that includes an explicit household production sector. We use these estimates to investigate two issues. First, we analyze how well the model accounts for aggregate fluctuations. Second, we use the model to study the effects of fiscal policy. We find household production has a significant impact, and reject a nested specification in which changes in the home production technology do not matter for market variables. The model generates very different predictions for the effects of tax changes than similar models without home production.