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SUMMARY

This paper proposes an infinite hidden Markov model to integrate the regime switching and structural break dynamics in a unified Bayesian framework. Two parallel hierarchical structures, one governing the transition probabilities and another governing the parameters of the conditional data density, keep the model parsimonious and improve forecasts. This flexible approach allows for regime persistence and estimates the number of states automatically. An application to US real interest rates compares the new model to existing parametric alternatives. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.