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Prior elicitation in multiple change-point models

  • Gary Koop
  • Simon M. Potter

This paper discusses Bayesian inference in change-point models. Current approaches place a possibly hierarchical prior over a known number of change points. We show how two popular priors have some potentially undesirable properties, such as allocating excessive prior weight to change points near the end of the sample. We discuss how these properties relate to imposing a fixed number of change points in the sample. In our study, we develop a hierarchical approach that allows some change points to occur out of the sample. We show that this prior has desirable properties and handles cases with unknown change points. Our hierarchical approach can be shown to nest a wide variety of change-point models, from time-varying parameter models to those with few or no breaks. Data-based learning about the parameter that controls this variety occurs because our prior is hierarchical.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 197.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:197
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  1. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Estimation and comparison of multiple change-point models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 221-241, June.
  3. Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2001. "Are apparent findings of nonlinearity due to structural instability in economic time series?," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages 38.
  4. John M. Maheu & Stephen Gordon, 2004. "Learning, Forecasting and Structural Breaks," Cahiers de recherche 0422, CIRPEE.
  5. Pesaran, M Hashem & Pettenuzzo, Davide & Timmermann, Allan G, 2004. "Forecasting Time Series Subject to Multiple Structural Breaks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lubos Pastor & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "The Equity Premium and Structural Breaks," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 11-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  7. Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2004. "Forecasting and estimating multiple change-point models with an unknown number of change points," Staff Reports 196, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Michael P. Clements & David F. Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting Non-Stationary Economic Time Series," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262531895.
  9. Chib, Siddhartha, 1996. "Calculating posterior distributions and modal estimates in Markov mixture models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 79-97, November.
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