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Fair Model

Betty J. Blecha, San Francisco State University
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The Fair model web site includes a freely available United States macroeconomic econometric model and a multicounty econometric model. The models run on the Windows OS. Instructors can use the models to teach forecasting, run policy experiments, and evaluate historical episodes of macroeconomic behavior. The web site includes extensive documentation for both models. The simulation is for upper-division economics courses in macroeconomics or econometrics. The principle developer is Ray Fair at Yale University.

Learning Goals

The Fair model is the granddaddy of PC forecasting models. The first version, freely available for download, was posted in 1982. It is also a simulation model with a long professional history that continues to be updated and used for current forecasts. The current forecast memo is available on the Fair model web site .

Instructors who have used the Fair model over the years have had a variety of learning goals:

Context for Use

The Fair model is most appropriate for an intermediate macroeconomics course or an applied econometrics course. The more focused the instructional goals become on actual forecasting, the more important it becomes to require mathematical and statistical prerequisites for students.

Description and Teaching Materials

An instructor interested in using the Fair model should look at Ray Fair's page first. The page contains several interesting items with instruction content. The direct link to the model page itself is the Fair model support page. After navigating to the support page, a new user of the Fair model should first look at the "Getting Started" section. In the "Getting Started" section, the "U.S. Model Workbook" is the first section to read for new users.

The following information from the download section describes the solution program for the U.S. model that is implemented by a DOS command-line program.

TIME REQUIREMENT: Dependent on the instructional use of the model.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Because the Fair model has a professional history, assignments can be linked to this history:


All traditional assessment tools can be used. For more information about assessment, see the SERC assessment module.

References and Resources

Fair, R.C. (2004). Estimating How the Macroeconomy Works. Harvard University Press.

Fair, R.C. (2002). Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things. Stanford Economics and Finance.

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