Multivariate methods for monitoring structural change

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 20 May 2009

Working Paper No. 369
By Jan J J Groen, George Kapetanios and Simon Price

Detection of structural change is a critical empirical activity, but continuous ‘monitoring’ of time series for structural changes in real time raises well-known econometric issues. These have been explored in a univariate context. If multiple series co-break, as may be plausible, then it is possible that simultaneous examination of a multivariate set of data would help identify changes with higher probability or more rapidly than when series are examined on a case-by-case basis. Some asymptotic theory is developed for a maximum CUSUM detection test. Monte Carlo experiments suggest that there is an improvement in detection relative to a univariate detector over a wide range of experimental parameters, given a sufficiently large number of co-breaking series. The method is applied to UK RPI inflation in the period after 2001. A break is detected which would not have been picked up by univariate methods.

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