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Reconnecting the Markov Switching Model with Economic Fundamentals


  • Erlandsson, Ulf

    (Department of Economics, Lund University)


This paper seeks to investigate and remedy the apparent inability of Markov regime switching models to predict future states in the medium to long term. We show that projected time varying transition probability series in the model may be biased towards predicting regime switches with high probability in the short run, and as a consequence it is hard or impossible to obtain longer run inference. We propose a penalized maximum likelihood estimator where non-smoothness in the transition series has negative influence on the likelihood function, which is shown to remedy the short run bias. In an empirical investigation of U.S. real GDP, the penalized model works better in terms of forecasting future recessions as defined by the NBER business cycle dating.

Suggested Citation

  • Erlandsson, Ulf, 2004. "Reconnecting the Markov Switching Model with Economic Fundamentals," Working Papers 2004:4, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 04 Nov 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2004_004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
    2. Francis X. Diebold & Joon-Haeng Lee & Gretchen C. Weinbach, 1993. "Regime switching with time-varying transition probabilities," Working Papers 93-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Tobias Rydén & Timo Teräsvirta & Stefan Åsbrink, 1998. "Stylized facts of daily return series and the hidden Markov model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 217-244.
    4. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Erlandsson, Ulf G., 2005. "Exchange Rates and Markov Switching Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 314-320, July.
    5. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
    6. Abdul d Abiad, 2003. "Early Warning Systems; A Survey and a Regime-Switching Approach," IMF Working Papers 03/32, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Filardo, Andrew J. & Gordon, Stephen F., 1998. "Business cycle durations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 99-123, July.
    8. Kim, Chang-Jin, 1994. "Dynamic linear models with Markov-switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 1-22.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arias, Guillaume & Erlandsson, Ulf, 2004. "Regime switching as an alternative early warning system of currency crises - an application to South-East Asia," Working Papers 2004:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    regime switching; transition probability; forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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