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Prior elicitation in multiple change-point models

  • Gary M. 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. 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, June.
  2. John M. Maheu & Stephen Gordon, 2004. "Learning, Forecasting and Structural Breaks," Cahiers de recherche 0422, CIRPEE.
  3. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 11-30, January.
  4. Lubos Pastor & Robert F. Stambaugh, 2000. "The Equity Premium and Structural Breaks," NBER Working Papers 7778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary M. Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2004. "Forecasting and Estimating Multiple Change-point Models with an Unknown Number of Change-points," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/31, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Davide Pettenuzzo & Allan Timmermann, 2006. "Forecasting Time Series Subject to Multiple Structural Breaks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1057-1084.
  9. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Estimation and comparison of multiple change-point models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 221-241, June.
  11. Chib, Siddhartha, 1996. "Calculating posterior distributions and modal estimates in Markov mixture models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 79-97, November.
  12. Giordani, Paolo & Kohn, Robert, 2006. "Efficient Bayesian Inference for Multiple Change-Point and Mixture Innovation Models," Working Paper Series 196, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  13. Koop, Gary & Potter, Simon M, 2003. "Bayesian Analysis of Endogenous Delay Threshold Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(1), pages 93-103, January.
  14. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 1998. "Regime Switches in Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 6508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  16. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, June.
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