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Advanced Time Series and Forecasting

Lecture 5
Structural Breaks
Bruce E. Hansen
Summer School in Economics and Econometrics
University of Crete
July 23-27, 2012
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 1 / 99
Organization
Detection of Breaks
Estimating Breaks
Forecasting after Breaks
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Types of Breaks
Breaks in Mean
Breaks in Variance
Breaks in Relationships
Single Breaks
Multiple Breaks
Continuous Breaks
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Example
Simple AR(1) with mean and variance breaks
y
t
= y
t1
+
t
+e
t
e
t
~ N(0,
2
t
)
Ey
t
=

t
1
var(y
t
) =

2
t
1
2

t
and/or
2
t
may be constant or may have a break at some point in
the sample
Sample size n
Questions: Can you guess:
I
Is there a structural break?
I
If so, when?
I
Is the shift in the mean or variance? How large do you guess?
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 3 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 4 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 5 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 6 / 99
Terminology
Sample Period: t = 1, ..., n
Breakdate: T
1
I
Date of change
Breakdate fraction:
1
= T
1
/n
Pre-Break Sample: t = 1, ..., T
1
I
T
1
observations
Post-Break Sample: t = T
1
+ 1, ..., n
I
n T
1
observations
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 7 / 99
Structural Break Model
Full structural break
y
t
=
/
1
x
t
+e
t
, t _ T
1
y
t
=
/
2
x
t
+e
t
, t > T
1
or
y
t
=
/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +
/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) +e
t
Partial structural break
y
t
=
/
0
z
t
+
/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +
/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) +e
t
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 8 / 99
Variance Break Model
y
t
=
/
x
t
+e
t
,
var (e
t
) =
2
1
, t _ T
1
var (e
t
) =
2
2
, t > T
1
Breaks do not necessarily aect point forecasts
Aects forecast variances, intervals, fan charts, densities
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Detection of Breaks
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 10 / 99
Testing for a Break
Classic Test (Chow)
Assume T
1
is known
Test H
0
:
1
=
2
Use classic linear hypothesis test (F, Wald, LM, LR)
Least-Squares
y
t
=

/
0
z
t
+

/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +

/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) + e
t
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 11 / 99
Full Break Model
Y
1
= X
1

1
+e
1
Y
2
= X
1

2
+e
2

1
= (X
/
1
X
1
)
1
(X
/
1
Y
1
)

2
= (X
/
2
X
2
)
1
(X
/
2
Y
2
)
e
1
= Y
1
X
1

1
e
2
= Y
2
X
2

2
SSE(T
1
) = e
/
1
e
1
+ e
/
2
e
2

2
(T
1
) =
1
n m
_
e
/
1
e
1
+ e
/
2
e
2
_
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 12 / 99
F Test Statistic
F test
F(T
1
) =
(SSE SSE(T
1
)) /k
SSE(T
1
)(n m)
where k = dim(
1
), m =all parameters,
SSE = e
/
e

2
=
1
n k
_
e
/
e
_
e = Y X

(full sample estimate)

I
F test assumes homoskedasticity, better to use Wald test
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 13 / 99
Wald Test Statistic
W(T
1
) = n
_

2
_
/
_

V
1
n
T
1
+

V
2
n
n T
1
_
1
_

2
_
where

V
1
and

V
2
are standard asymptotic variance estimators for

1
and

2
(on the split samples:

V
1
=

Q
1
1

Q
1
1

V
2
=

Q
1
2

Q
1
2

Q
1
=
1
T
1
X
/
1
X
1

Q
2
=
1
n T
1
X
/
2
X
2
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 14 / 99
HAC variance options
For iid e
t

1
=
2

Q
1

2
=
2

Q
2
For homoskedastic (within regiome

2
1
=
1
T
1
k
_
e
/
1
e
1
_

2
2
=
1
n T
1
k
_
e
/
2
e
2
_
For serially uncorrelated but possibly heteroskedastic

1
=
1
T
1
k
T
1

t=1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t

2
=
1
n T
1
k
n

t=T
1
+1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 15 / 99
For serially correlated (e.g. h > 1)

1
=
1
T
1
k
T
1

t=1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
+
1
T
1
k
h1

j =0
T
1
j

t=1
_
x
t
x
/
t+j
e
t
e
t+j
+x
t+j
x
/
t
e
t+j
e
t
_

2
=
1
n T
1
k
n

t=T
1
+1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
+
1
n T
1
k
h1

j =0
nj

t=T
1
+1
_
x
t
x
/
t+j
e
t
e
t+j
+x
t+j
x
/
t
e
t+j
e
t
_
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 16 / 99
Classic Theory
Under H
0
, if the number of observations pre- and post-break are
large, then
F(T
1
)
d

2
k
k
under homoskedasticity, and in general
W(T
1
)
d

2
k
We can reject H
0
in favor of H
1
if the test exceeds the critical value
I
Thus nd a break if the test rejects
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 17 / 99
Modern Approach
Break dates are unknown
Sup tests (Andrews, 1993)
SupF = sup
T
1
F(T
1
)
SupW = sup
T
1
W(T
1
)
The sup is taken over all break dates T
1
in the region [t
1
, t
2
] where
t
1
>> 1 and t
2
<< n
I
The region [t
1
, t
2
] are candidate breakdates. If the proposed break is
too near the beginning or end of sample, the estimates and tests will be
I
Recommended rule t
1
= [.15n], t
2
= [.85n]
Numerically, calculate SupW using a loop
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 18 / 99
Example
US GDP example presented yesterday
Quarterly data 1960:2011
k = 7
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Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 20 / 99
Evidence for Structural Break?
SupW=27
Is this signicant?
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 21 / 99
Theorem (Andrews)
Under H
0
, if the regressors x
t
are strictly stationary, then
I
SupF, SupW, etc, converge to non-standard asymptotic distributions
which depend on
F
k (the number of parameters tested for constancy
F

1
= t
1
/n
F

2
= t
2
/n
F
Only depend on
1
and
2
through =
2
(1
1
)/(
1
(1
2
))
Critical values in Andrews (2003, Econometrica, pp 395-397)
p-value approximation function in Hansen (1997 JBES, pp 60-67)
Critical values much larger than chi-square
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 22 / 99
Evidence for Structural Break?
SupW=27
k = 7
1% asymptotic critical value = 26.72
Asymptotic p-value=0.008
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 23 / 99
Non-Constancy in Marginal or Conditional?
The model is
y
t
=
/
0
z
t
+
/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +
/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) +e
t
The goal is to check for non-constancy in the conditional relationship
(in the coecients ) while being agnostic about the marginal (the
distribution of the regressors x
t
)
Andrews assume that x
t
are strictly stationary, which excludes
structural change in the regressors
In Hansen (2000, JoE) I show that this assumption is binding
I
If x
t
has a structural break in its mean or variance, the asymptotic
distribution of the SupW test changes
I
This can distort inference (a large test may be due to instability in x
t
,
not regression instability)
There is a simple solution: Fixed Regressor Bootstrap
I
Requires h = 1 (no serial correlation)
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 24 / 99
Fixed Regressor Bootstrap
Similar to a bootstrap, a method to simulate the asymptotic null
distribution
Fix (z
t
, x
t
, e
t
), t = 1, ..., n
Let y
+
t
be iid N(0, e
2
t
), t = 1, ..., n
Estimate the regression
y
+
t
=

+/
0
z
t
+

+/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +

+/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) + e
+
t
Form the Wald, SupW statistics on this simulated data
W
+
(T
1
) = n
_

+
1
(T
1
)

+
2
(T
1
)
_
/
_

V
+
1
(T
1
)
n
T
1
+

V
+
2
(T
1
)
n
n T
1
_
1
_

+
1
(T
1
)

+
2
(T
1
)
_
SupW
+
= sup
T
1
W
+
(T
1
)
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 25 / 99
Repeat this B _ 1000 times.
Let SupW
+
b
denote the bth value
Fixed Regressor bootstrap p-value
p =
1
B
N

b=1
1 (SupW
+
b
_ SupW
+
)
Fixed Regressor bootstrap critical values are quantiles of empirical
distribution of SupW
+
b
Important restriction: Requires serially uncorrelated errors (h = 1)
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 26 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 27 / 99
Evidence for Structural Break?
SupW=27
Asymptotic p-value=0.008
Fixed regressor bootstrap p-value=0.106
Bootstrap eliminates signicance!
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 28 / 99
Recommendation
In small samples, the SupW test highly over-rejects
The Fixed Regressor Bootstrap (h = 1) greatly reduces this problem
Furthermore, it makes the test robust to structural change in the
marginal distribution
For h > 1, tests not well investigated
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 29 / 99
Testing for Breaks in the Variance
y
t
=
/
x
t
+e
t
,
var (e
t
) =
2
1
, t _ T
1
var (e
t
) =
2
2
, t > T
1
Since var (e
t
) = Ee
2
t
, this is the same as a test for a break in a
regression of e
2
t
on a constant
Estimate constant-parameter model
y
t
=

/
x
t
+ e
t
Obtain squared residuals e
2
t
Apply Andrews SupW test to a regression of e
2
t
on a constant
k = 1 critical values
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 30 / 99
GDP Example: Break in Variance?
Apply test to squared OLS residuals
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Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 32 / 99
Break in Variance?
SupW=15.96
k = 1
1% asymptotic critical value =12.16
Asymptotic p-value=0.002
Fixed regressor bootstrap p-value=0.000
Strong rejection of constancy in variance
I
Great moderation
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End-of-Sample Breaks
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 34 / 99
End-of-Sample Breaks
The SupW tests are powerful against structural changes which occur
in the interior of the sample
T
1
[.15n, .85n]
Have low power against breaks at the end of the sample
Yet for forecasting, this is a critical period
Classic Chow test allows for breaks at end of sample
I
But requires nite sample normality
New end-of-sample instability test by Andrews (Econometrica, 2003)
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 35 / 99
End-of-Sample Test
Write model as
Y
1
= X
1

1
+e
1
Y
2
= X
1

2t
+e
2
where Y
1
is n 1, Y
2
is m1 and X has k regressors
m is known but small
Test is for non-constancy in
2t
Let

be full sample (n +m) LS estimate, e = Y X

full-sample
residuals
Partition e = ( e
1
, e
2
)
Test depends on = E (e
2
e
/
2
)
First take case = I
m

2
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 36 / 99
Ifm _ d
S = e
/
2
X
2
_
X
/
2
X
2
_
1
X
/
2
e
2
If m < d
P = e
/
2
X
2
X
/
2
e
2
If m is large we could use a chi-square approximation
But when m is small we cannot
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 37 / 99
Andrews suggests a subsampling-type p-value
p =
1
n m + 1
nm+1

j =1
1 (S _ S
j
)
S
j
= e
/
j
X
j
_
X
/
j
X
j
_
1
X
/
j
e
j
X
j
= x
t
: t = j , ..., j +m1
Y
j
= y
t
: t = j , ..., j +m1
e
j
= Y
j
X
j

(j )
and

(j )
is least-squares using all observations except for
t = j , ..., j + [m/2]
Similar for P test
You can reject end-of-sample stability if p is small (less than 0.05)
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 38 / 99
Weighted Tests
Andrews suggested improved power by exploiting correlation in e
2
S = e
/
2

1
X
2
_
X
/
2

1
X
2
_
1
X
/
2

1
e
2
where

=
1
n + 1
n+1

j =1
_
Y
j
X
j

_ _
Y
j
X
j

_
/
The subsample calculations are the same as before except that
S
j
= e
/
j

1
X
j
_
X
/
j

1
X
j
_
1
X
/
j

1
e
j
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 39 / 99
Example: End-of-Sample Instability in GDP Forecasting?
m = 12 (last 3 years)
S statistics (p-values)
Unweighted Weighted
h = 1 .20 .21
h = 2 .08 .36
h = 3 .02 .29
h = 4 .18 .27
h = 5 .95 .94
h = 6 .91 .83
h = 7 .86 .70
h = 8 .78 .86
Evidence does not suggest end-of-sample instability
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 40 / 99
Breakdate Estimation
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 41 / 99
Breakdate Estimation
The model is a regression
y
t
=
/
0
z
t
+
/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +
/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) +e
t
Thus a natural estimator is least squares
The SSE function is
S(, T
1
) =
1
n
n

t=1
_
y
t

/
0
z
t

/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
)
/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
)
_
2
(

,

T
1
) = argminS(, T
1
)
The function is quadratic in , nonlinear in T
1
I
Convenient solution is concentration
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 42 / 99
Least-Squares Algorithm
(

,

T
1
) = argmin
,T
1
S(, T
1
)
= argmin
T
1
min

S(, T
1
)
= argmin
T
1
S(T
1
)
where
S(T
1
) = min

S(, T
1
)
=
1
n
n

t=1
e
t
(T
1
)
2
and e
t
(T
1
) are the OLS residuals from
y
t
=

/
0
z
t
+

/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +

/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) + e
t
(T
1
)
with T
1
xed.
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 43 / 99
Least-Squares Estimator

T
1
= argmin
T
1
S(T
1
)
For each T
1
[t
1
, t
2
], estimate structural break regression, calculate
residuals and SSE S(T
1
)
Find T
1
which minimizes S(T
1
)
Even if n is large, this is typically a quick calculation.
Plots of S(T
1
) against T
1
are useful
The sharper the peak, then better T
1
is identied
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 44 / 99
Example: Breakdate Estimation in GDP
Plot SSE as function of breakdate
Break Date Estimate is lowest point of graph
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 45 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 46 / 99
Break Date Estimate

T
1
(minimum of SSE(T
1
) = 1980:4 (82nd observation)
Minimum not well dened
Consistent with weak break or no break
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 47 / 99
Example: Breakdate Estimation for GDP Variance
Plot SSE as function of breakdate
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 48 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 49 / 99
Break Date Estimate for Variacne

T
1
(minimum of SSE(T
1
) = 1983:4 (93rd observation)
Well dened minimum
Sharp V shape
Consistent with strong single break
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 50 / 99
Distribution Theory and Condence Intervals
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 51 / 99
Distribution of Break-Date Estimator
Bai (Review of Economics and Statistics, 1997)
Dene
I
Q = E (x
t
x
/
t
)
I
= E
_
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
_
I
=
2

1
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 52 / 99
Theorem
[If 0, and the distribution of (x
t
, e
t
) does not change at T
1
, then]
_

/
Q
_
2

T
1
T
1
_

d
= argmax
s
_
W(s)
[s[
2
_
where W(s) is a double-sided Brownian motion. The distribution of for
x _ 0 is
G(x) = 1 +
_
x
2
exp
_

x
8
_

x + 5
2

_

_
x
2
_
+
3e
x
2

_

3
_
x
2
_
and G(x) = 1 G(x).
If the errors are iid, then
1
= Q
1

2
1
and

/
Q
1

2
1
_

T
1
T
1
_

d

Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 53 / 99
Critical Values (Bai Method)
Critical values for can be solved by inverting G(x) :
Coverage c
80% 4.7
90% 7.7
95% 11.0
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 54 / 99
Condence Intervals for Break Date (Bai Method)
Point Estimate

T
1
Theorem:

T
1
~ T
1
+

/

/
Q
_
2

Condence interval is then

T
1

/

Q

_
2
c
where

Q =
1
n
n

t=1
x
t
x
/
t

=
1
n k
n

t=1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
+
1
n k
h1

j =0
T
1
j

t=1
_
x
t
x
/
t+j
e
t
e
t+j
+x
t+j
x
/
t
e
t+j
e
t
_
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 55 / 99
Condence Intervals under Homoskedasticity

T
1

n
2
_

1
_
/
(X
/
X)
_

1
_
c
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 56 / 99
Example
Break for GDP Forecast
I
Point Estimate: 1980:4
I
Bai 90% Interval: 1979:2 - 1982:2
Break for GDP Variance
I
Point Estimate: 1983:3
I
Bai 90% Interval: 1983:2 - 1983:4
I
Very tight
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 57 / 99
Condence Intervals (Elliott-Mueller)
Elliott-Mueller (JoE, 2007) argue that Bais condence intervals
systematically undercover when breaks are small to moderate
They recommend an alternative simple procedure
For each breakdate T
1
for which the regression can be estimated
I
Calculate the regression
y
t
=

/
0
z
t
+

/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +

/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) + e
t
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 58 / 99
y
t
=

/
0
z
t
+

/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +

/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) + e
t

1
=
1
T
1
k
_
T
1

t=1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
+
h1

j =0
T
1
j

t=1
_
x
t
x
/
t+j
e
t
e
t+j
+x
t+j
x
/
t
e
t+j
e
t
_
_

2
=
1
n T
1
k
_
n

t=T
1
+1
x
t
x
/
t
e
2
t
+
h1

j =0
nj

t=T
1
+1
_
x
t
x
/
t+j
e
t
e
t+j
+x
t+j
x
/
t
e
t+j
e
t
_
_
S
j
=
j

t=1
x
t
e
t
U(T
1
) =
1
T
2
1
T
1

j =1
S
/
j

1
1
S
j
+
1
(n T
1
)
2
n

j =T
1
+1
S
/
j

1
2
S
j
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 59 / 99
Theorem (Elliott-Muller)
U(T
1
)
d
_
1
0
B(s)
/
B(s)ds where B(s) is a 2k 1 Brownian bridge,
k = dim(x
t
)
This is the Cramer-vonMises distribution
To form a condence set for T
1
, nd the set of T
1
for which U(T
1
)
are less than the critical value
The Elliott-Muller intervals can be much larger than Bais
I
Unclear if they are perhaps too large
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 60 / 99
Critical Values for Condence Intervals(Elliott-Muller
Method)
Coverage
99% 97.5% 95% 92.5% 90% 80%
k = 1 1.07 0.90 0.75 0.67 0.61 0.47
k = 2 1.60 1.39 1.24 1.14 1.07 0.88
k = 3 2.12 1.89 1.68 1.58 1.49 1.28
k = 4 2.59 2.33 2.11 1.99 1.89 1.66
k = 5 3.05 2.76 2.54 2.40 2.29 2.03
k = 6 3.51 3.18 2.96 2.81 2.69 2.41
k = 7 3.90 3.60 3.34 3.19 3.08 2.77
k = 8 4.30 4.01 3.75 3.58 3.46 3.14
k = 9 4.73 4.40 4.14 3.96 3.83 3.50
k = 10 5.13 4.79 4.52 4.36 4.22 3.86
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 61 / 99
Examples: Breakdates for GDP Forecast and Variance
Plot U(T
1
) as function of T
1
Plot 90% critical value
90% condence region is set of values where U(T
1
) is less than
critical value
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 62 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 63 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 64 / 99
Example
Break for GDP Forecast
I
Point Estimate: 1980:4
I
Bai 90% Interval: 1979:2 - 1982:2
I
Elliott-Muller: 1981:2 - 2011:2
Break for GDP Variance
I
Point Estimate: 1983:3
I
Bai 90% Interval: 1983:2 - 1983:4
I
Elliott-Muller: 1980:4 - 1993:4
Elliott-Muller intervals are much wider
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 65 / 99
Slope Estimators
Estimate slopes from regression with estmate

T
1
y
t
=

/
0
z
t
+

/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +

/
2
x
t
1 (t > T
1
) + e
t
(T
1
)
In the case of full structural change, this is the same as estimation on
each sub-sample.
Asymptotic Theory:
I
The sub-sample slope estimates are consistent for the true slopes
I
If there is a structural break, their asymptotic distributions are
conventional
F
You can treat the structural break as if known
I
Compute standard erros using conventional HAC formula
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 66 / 99
Example: Variance Estimates
Pre 1983:
2
1
= 14.8 (2.3)
Post 193:
2
2
= 4.9 (1.0)
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 67 / 99
Multiple Breaks
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 68 / 99
Multiple Structural Breaks
Breaks T
1
< T
2
y
t
=
/
0
z
t
+
/
1
x
t
1 (t _ T
1
) +
/
2
x
t
1 (T
1
< t _ T
2
)
+
/
3
x
t
1 (t > T
2
) +e
t
Testing/estimation: Two approaches
I
Joint testing/estimation
I
Sequential
Major contributors: Jushan Bai, Pierre Perron
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 69 / 99
Joint Methods
Testing
I
Test the null of constant parameters against the alternative of two
(unknown) breaks
I
Given T
1
, T
2
, construct Wald test for non-constancy
I
Take the largest test over T
1
< T
2
I
Asymptotic distribution a generalization of Andrews
Estimation
I
The sum-of-squared errors is a function of (T
1
, T
2
)
I
The LS estimates (

T
1
,

T
2
) jointly minimize the SSE
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 70 / 99
Joint Methods - Computation
For 2 breaks, these tests/estimates require O(n
2
) regressions
I
cumbersome but quite feasible
For 3 breaks, naive estimation requires O(n
3
) regressions,
I
not feasible
Bai-Perron developed ecient computer code which solves the
problem of order O(n
2
) for arbitrary number of breaks
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 71 / 99
Sequential Method
If the truth is two breaks, but you estimate a one-break model, the
SSE will (asymptotically) have local minima at both breakdates
Thus the LS breakdate estimator will consistently estimate one of the
two breaks, e.g.

T
1
for T
1
Given an estimated break, you can split the sample and test for
breaks in each subsample
I
You can then nd

T
2
for T
2
Renement estimator:
I
Split the entire sample at T
2
I
Now re-estimate the rst break

T
1
I
The rened estimators are asymptotically ecient
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 72 / 99
Forecasting Focuses on Final Breakdate
If you only want to nd the last break
First test for structural change on the full sample
If it rejects, split the sample
Test for structural change on the second half
If it rejects, split again...
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 73 / 99
Forecasting After Breaks
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 74 / 99
Forecasting After Breaks
There is no good theory about how to forecast in the presence of
breaks
There is a multitude of comicting recommendations
One important contribution:
I
Pesaran and Timmermann (JoE, 2007)
They show that in a regression with a single break, the optimal
window for estimation includes all of the observations after the break,
and some of the observations before the break
By including more observations you decrease variance at the cost of
some bias
They provide empirical rules for selecting sample sizes
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 75 / 99
Recommentation
The simulations in Persaran-Timmermann suggest that there little
gain for the complicated procedures
The simple rule Split the sample at the estimated break seems to
work as well as anything else
My recommendation
I
Test for structural breaks using the Andrews or Bai/Perron tests
I
If there is evidence of a break, estimate its date using Bais
least-squares estimator
I
Calculate a condence interval to assess accuracy (calculate both Bai
and Elliott-Muller for robustness)
I
Split the sample at the break, use the post-break period for estimation
I
Use economic judgment to enhance statistical ndings
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 76 / 99
Examples Revisited
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 77 / 99
Examples from Beginning of Class
Simple AR(1) with mean and variance breaks
y
t
= y
t1
+
t
(1 ) + e
t
e
t
~ N(0,
2
t
(1
2
))

t
and/or
2
t
may be constant or may have a break at some point in
the sample
Sample size n
Questions: Can you guess the timing and type of structural break?
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 78 / 99
Model A
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 79 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 80 / 99
Results - Regression
SupW = 0.01 (xed regressor bootstrap p-value)
Breakdate Estimate = 62
I
Bai Interval = [55, 69]
Estimates
y
t
= 0.03
(.60)
+ 0.69
(.67)
y
t1
+e
t
, t _ 62
y
t
= 0.69
(.99)
+ 0.59
(.53)
y
t1
+e
t
, t > 62
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 81 / 99
Results - Variance
SupW for Variance = 0.57 (xed regressor bootstrap p-value)
Breakdate Estimate = 78
I
Bai Interval = [9, 100]
Estimates

2
= 0.37
(.60)
, t _ 78

2
= 0.19
(.24)
, t > 78
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 82 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 83 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 84 / 99
DGP (Model A)
T
1
= 60

1
= 0.2

2
= 0.4

2
1
=
2
2
= 0.36
= 0.8
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 85 / 99
Model B
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 86 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 87 / 99
Results - Regression
SupW = 0.07 (xed regressor bootstrap p-value)
Breakdate Estimate = 37
I
Bai Interval = [20, 54]
Estimates
y
t
= 0.53
(1.12)
+ 0.82
(.40)
y
t1
+e
t
, t _ 37
y
t
= 0.10
(.70)
+ 0.85
(.40)
y
t1
+e
t
, t > 37
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 88 / 99
Results - Variance
SupW for Variance = 0.06 (xed regressor bootstrap p-value)
Breakdate Estimate = 15
I
Bai Interval = [0, 69]
Estimates

2
= 0.17
(.17)
, t _ 15

2
= 0.40
(.55)
, t > 15
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 89 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 90 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 91 / 99
DGP (Model B)
T
1
= 40

1
= 0.5

2
= 0.2

2
1
=
2
2
= 0.36
= 0.8
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 92 / 99
Model C
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 93 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 94 / 99
Results
SupW = 0.11 (xed regressor bootstrap p-value)
Regression Breakdate Estimate = 84
I
Bai Interval = [78, 90]
Estimates
y
t
= 0.27
(1.02)
+ 0.73
(.70)
y
t1
+e
t
, t _ 37
y
t
= 1.53
(2.44)
+ 0.11
(1.47)
y
t1
+e
t
, t > 37
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 95 / 99
Results - Variance
SupW for Variance = 0.13 (xed regressor bootstrap p-value)
Breakdate Estimate = 69
I
Bai Interval = [65, 73]
Estimates

2
= 0.43
(.51)
, t _ 69

2
= 1.77
(3.06)
, t > 69
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 96 / 99
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 97 / 99
DGP (Model C)
T
1
= 70

1
=
2
= 0.2

2
1
= 0.36

2
2
= 1.44
= 0.8
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 98 / 99
Assignment
Take your favorite model
Estimate the model allowing for one-time structure change in the
mean
Test the model for one-time structural change in the mean
If appropriate, revise your forecasts
Bruce Hansen (University of Wisconsin) Structural Breaks July 23-27, 2012 99 / 99