Structural-break models under mis-specification: implications for forecasting
This paper revisits the least squares estimator of the linear regression with a structural break. We view the model as an approximation to the true data generating process whose exact nature is unknown but perhaps changing over time either continuously or with some jumps. This view is widely held in the forecasting literature and under this view, the time series dependence property of all the observed variables is unstable as well. We establish that the rate of convergence of the estimator to a properly defined limit is much slower than the standard super consistent rate, even slower than the square root of the sample size T and as slow as the cube root of T. We also provide an asymptotic distribution of the estimator and that of the Gaussian quasi likelihood ratio statistic for a certain class of true data generating process. We relate our finding to current forecast combination methods and bagging and propose a new averaging scheme. The performance of various contemporary forecasting methods is compared to ours using a number of macroeconomic data.
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