This paper discusses the consistency of trend break point estimators when the number of breaks is underspecified. The consistency of break point estimators in a simple location model with level shifts has been well documented by researchers under various settings, including extensions such as allowing a time trend in the model. Despite the consistency of break point estimators of level shifts, there are few papers on the consistency of trend shift break point estimators in the presence of an underspecified break number. The simulation study and asymptotic analysis in this paper show that the trend shift break point estimator does not converge to the true break points when the break number is underspecified. In the case of two trend shifts, the inconsistency problem worsens if the magnitudes of the breaks are similar and the breaks are either both positive or both negative. The limiting distribution for the trend break point estimator is developed and closely approximates the finite sample performance.
deterministic trend linear trend multiple trend shifts underspecified break number Pitman drift limiting distribution