In recent years, New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (NK DSGE) models have become increasingly popular in the academic literature and in policy analysis. However, it is still disputed how successful these models are in reproducing the dynamic behavior of an economy following structural shocks. This paper is an attempt to shed some light on this issue. We use a VAR with sign restrictions that are robust to model and parameter uncertainty to estimate the effects of monetary policy, preference, government spending, investment, price markup, technology and labor supply shocks on macroeconomic variables in the United States and the euro area. In contrast to the NK DSGE models, the empirical results indicate that technology shocks have a positive effect on hours worked, and investment and preference shocks have a positive impact on consumption and investment, respectively. While the former is in line with the predictions of Real Business Cycle (RBC) models, the latter indicates the relevance of accelerator effects, as described in the earlier Keynesian literature. Furthermore, we show that NK DSGE models might overemphasize the role of cost-push shocks in business cycle fluctuations, while in the same time underestimating the importance of other shocks such as changes in technology and investment adjustment costs.
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