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Forecasting and estimating multiple change-point models with an unknown number of change-points

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posted on 27.01.2010, 15:02 by Gary M. Koop, Simon M. Potter
This paper develops a new approach to change-point modeling that allows the number of change-points in the observed sample to be unknown. The model we develop assumes regime durations have a Poisson distribution. It approximately nests the two most common approaches: the time varying parameter model with a change-point every period and the change-point model with a small number of regimes. We focus considerable attention on the construction of reasonable hierarchical priors both for regime durations and for the parameters which characterize each regime. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo posterior sampler is constructed to estimate a change-point model for conditional means and variances. Our techniques are found to work well in an empirical exercise involving US GDP growth and inflation. Empirical results suggest that the number of change-points is larger than previously estimated in these series and the implied model is similar to a time varying parameter (with stochastic volatility) model. JEL classification: C11, C22, E17



Dept. of Economics, University of Leicester

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Papers in Economics;04/31