Detecting Structural Changes in Time Series by Using the BDS Test Recursively: An Application to COVID-19 Effects on International Stock Markets.
Abstract: Structural change tests aim to identify evidence of a structural break or change in the underlying generating process of a time series. The BDS test has its origins in chaos theory and seeks to test, using the correlation integral, the hypothesis that a time series is generated by an identically and independently distributed (IID) stochastic process over time. The BDS test is already widely used as a powerful tool for testing the hypothesis of white noise in the residuals of time series models. In this paper, we illustrate how the BDS test can be implemented also in a recursive manner to evaluate the hypothesis of structural change in a time series, taking advantage of its ability to test the IID hypothesis. We apply the BDS test repeatedly, starting with a sub-sample of the original time series and incrementally increasing the number of observations until it is applied to the full sample time series. A structural change in the unknown underlying generator model is detected when a change in the trend shown by this recursively computed BDS statistic is detected. The strength of this recursive BDS test lies in the fact that it does not require making any assumptions about the underlying time series generator model. We ilustrate the power and potential of this recursive BDS test through an application to real economic data. In this sense, we apply the test to assess the structural changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in international financial markets. Using daily data from the world’s top stock indices, we have detected strong and statistically significant evidence of two major structural changes during the period from June 2018 to June 2022. The first occurred in March 2020, coinciding with the onset of economic restrictions in the main Western countries as a result of the pandemic. The second occurred towards the end of August 2020, with the end of the main economic restrictions and the beginning of a new post-pandemic economic scenario. This methodology to test for structural changes in a time series is easy to implement and can detect changes in any system or process behind the time series even when this generating system is not known, and without the need to specify or estimate any a priori generating model. In this sense, the recursive BDS test could be incorporated as an initial preliminary step to any exercise of time series modeling. If a structural change is detected in a time series, rather than estimating a single predictive model for the full-sample time series, efforts should be made to estimate different predictive models, one for the time before and one for the time after the detected structural change.
- INGENIERÍA