Solving models with jump discontinuities in policy functions

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We compare global methods for solving models with jump discontinuities in the policy function. We find that differences between value function iteration (VFI) and other methods are economically significant and Euler equation errors fail to be a sufficient measure of accuracy in such models. VFI fails to accurately identify both the location and size of jump discontinuities, while the endogenous grid method (EGM) and the finite element method (FEM) are much better at approximating this class of models. We further show that combining VFI with a local interpolation step (VFI‐INT) is sufficient to obtain accurate approximations. The combination of computational speed, relatively easy implementation and adaptability make VFI‐INT especially suitable for approximating models with jump discontinuities in policy functions: while EGM is the fastest method, it is relatively complex to implement; implementation of VFI‐INT is relatively straightforward and it is much faster than FEM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-456
Number of pages23
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Issue number2
Early online date4 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Nonlinear Solution Methods
  • Euler equation errors
  • Dynamic Equilibrium Economies, Non-Convex Capital Adjustment Costs
  • Computational Methods
  • Non-Convex Capital Adjustment Costs


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