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  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014759
    Description:

    Many of the challenges and opportunities of modern data science have to do with dynamic aspects: evolving populations, the growing volume of administrative and commercial data on individuals and establishments, continuous flows of data and the capacity to analyze and summarize them in real time, and the deterioration of data absent the resources to maintain them. With its emphasis on data quality and supportable results, the domain of Official Statistics is ideal for highlighting statistical and data science issues in a variety of contexts. The messages of the talk include the importance of population frames and their maintenance; the potential for use of multi-frame methods and linkages; how the use of large scale non-survey data as auxiliary information shapes the objects of inference; the complexity of models for large data sets; the importance of recursive methods and regularization; and the benefits of sophisticated data visualization tools in capturing change.

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201300014251
    Description:

    I present a modeller's perspective on the current status quo in official statistics surveys-based inference. In doing so, I try to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the design and model-based inferential positions that survey sampling, at least as far as the official statistics world is concerned, finds itself at present. I close with an example from adaptive survey design that illustrates why taking a model-based perspective (either frequentist or Bayesian) represents the best way for official statistics to avoid the debilitating 'inferential schizophrenia' that seems inevitable if current methodologies are applied to the emerging information requirements of today's world (and possibly even tomorrow's).

    Release date: 2014-10-31

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201300014252
    Description:

    Although estimating finite populations characteristics from probability samples has been very successful for large samples, inferences from non-probability samples may also be possible. Non-probability samples have been criticized due to self-selection bias and the lack of methods for estimating the precision of the estimates. The wide spread access to the Web and the ability to do very inexpensive data collection on the Web has reinvigorated interest in this topic. We review of non-probability sampling strategies and summarize some of the key issues. We then propose conditions under which non-probability sampling may be a reasonable approach. We conclude with ideas for future research.

    Release date: 2014-10-31

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X201300014259
    Description:

    In an effort to reduce response burden on farm operators, Statistics Canada is studying alternative approaches to telephone surveys for producing field crop estimates. One option is to publish harvested area and yield estimates in September as is currently done, but to calculate them using models based on satellite and weather data, and data from the July telephone survey. However before adopting such an approach, a method must be found which produces estimates with a sufficient level of accuracy. Research is taking place to investigate different possibilities. Initial research results and issues to consider are discussed in this paper.

    Release date: 2014-10-31

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201300014280
    Description:

    During the last decade, web panel surveys have been established as a fast and cost-efficient method in market surveys. The rationale for this is new developments in information technology, in particular the continued rapid growth of internet and computer use among the public. Also growing nonresponse rates and prices forced down in the survey industry lie behind this change. However, there are some serious inherent risks connected with web panel surveys, not least selection bias due to the self-selection of respondents. There are also risks of coverage and measurement errors. The absence of an inferential framework and of data quality indicators is an obstacle against using the web panel approach for high-quality statistics about general populations. Still, there seems to be increasing challenges for some national statistical institutes by a new form of competition for ad hoc statistics and even official statistics from web panel surveys.This paper explores the question of design and use of web panels in a scientifically sound way. An outline is given of a standard from the Swedish Survey Society for performance metrics to assess some quality aspects of results from web panel surveys. Decomposition of bias and mitigation of bias risks are discussed in some detail. Some ideas are presented for combining web panel surveys and traditional surveys to achieve controlled cost-efficient inference.

    Release date: 2014-10-31

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201400114004
    Description:

    In 2009, two major surveys in the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau were redesigned to reduce sample size, save resources, and improve the precision of the estimates (Cheng, Corcoran, Barth and Hogue 2009). The new design divides each of the traditional state by government-type strata with sufficiently many units into two sub-strata according to each governmental unit’s total payroll, in order to sample less from the sub-stratum with small size units. The model-assisted approach is adopted in estimating population totals. Regression estimators using auxiliary variables are obtained either within each created sub-stratum or within the original stratum by collapsing two sub-strata. A decision-based method was proposed in Cheng, Slud and Hogue (2010), applying a hypothesis test to decide which regression estimator is used within each original stratum. Consistency and asymptotic normality of these model-assisted estimators are established here, under a design-based or model-assisted asymptotic framework. Our asymptotic results also suggest two types of consistent variance estimators, one obtained by substituting unknown quantities in the asymptotic variances and the other by applying the bootstrap. The performance of all the estimators of totals and of their variance estimators are examined in some empirical studies. The U.S. Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll (ASPEP) is used to motivate and illustrate our study.

    Release date: 2014-06-27

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201300211887
    Description:

    Multi-level models are extensively used for analyzing survey data with the design hierarchy matching the model hierarchy. We propose a unified approach, based on a design-weighted log composite likelihood, for two-level models that leads to design-model consistent estimators of the model parameters even when the within cluster sample sizes are small provided the number of sample clusters is large. This method can handle both linear and generalized linear two-level models and it requires level 2 and level 1 inclusion probabilities and level 1 joint inclusion probabilities, where level 2 represents a cluster and level 1 an element within a cluster. Results of a simulation study demonstrating superior performance of the proposed method relative to existing methods under informative sampling are also reported.

    Release date: 2014-01-15

  • Articles and reports: 82-003-X201300611796
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    The study assesses the feasibility of using statistical modelling techniques to fill information gaps related to risk factors, specifically, smoking status, in linked long-form census data.

    Release date: 2013-06-19

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201200211758
    Description:

    This paper develops two Bayesian methods for inference about finite population quantiles of continuous survey variables from unequal probability sampling. The first method estimates cumulative distribution functions of the continuous survey variable by fitting a number of probit penalized spline regression models on the inclusion probabilities. The finite population quantiles are then obtained by inverting the estimated distribution function. This method is quite computationally demanding. The second method predicts non-sampled values by assuming a smoothly-varying relationship between the continuous survey variable and the probability of inclusion, by modeling both the mean function and the variance function using splines. The two Bayesian spline-model-based estimators yield a desirable balance between robustness and efficiency. Simulation studies show that both methods yield smaller root mean squared errors than the sample-weighted estimator and the ratio and difference estimators described by Rao, Kovar, and Mantel (RKM 1990), and are more robust to model misspecification than the regression through the origin model-based estimator described in Chambers and Dunstan (1986). When the sample size is small, the 95% credible intervals of the two new methods have closer to nominal confidence coverage than the sample-weighted estimator.

    Release date: 2012-12-19

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201200111688
    Description:

    We study the problem of nonignorable nonresponse in a two dimensional contingency table which can be constructed for each of several small areas when there is both item and unit nonresponse. In general, the provision for both types of nonresponse with small areas introduces significant additional complexity in the estimation of model parameters. For this paper, we conceptualize the full data array for each area to consist of a table for complete data and three supplemental tables for missing row data, missing column data, and missing row and column data. For nonignorable nonresponse, the total cell probabilities are allowed to vary by area, cell and these three types of "missingness". The underlying cell probabilities (i.e., those which would apply if full classification were always possible) for each area are generated from a common distribution and their similarity across the areas is parametrically quantified. Our approach is an extension of the selection approach for nonignorable nonresponse investigated by Nandram and Choi (2002a, b) for binary data; this extension creates additional complexity because of the multivariate nature of the data coupled with the small area structure. As in that earlier work, the extension is an expansion model centered on an ignorable nonresponse model so that the total cell probability is dependent upon which of the categories is the response. Our investigation employs hierarchical Bayesian models and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods for posterior inference. The models and methods are illustrated with data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

    Release date: 2012-06-27
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  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201800254956
    Description:

    In Italy, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) is conducted quarterly by the National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) to produce estimates of the labor force status of the population at different geographical levels. In particular, ISTAT provides LFS estimates of employed and unemployed counts for local Labor Market Areas (LMAs). LMAs are 611 sub-regional clusters of municipalities and are unplanned domains for which direct estimates have overly large sampling errors. This implies the need of Small Area Estimation (SAE) methods. In this paper, we develop a new area level SAE method that uses a Latent Markov Model (LMM) as linking model. In LMMs, the characteristic of interest, and its evolution in time, is represented by a latent process that follows a Markov chain, usually of first order. Therefore, areas are allowed to change their latent state across time. The proposed model is applied to quarterly data from the LFS for the period 2004 to 2014 and fitted within a hierarchical Bayesian framework using a data augmentation Gibbs sampler. Estimates are compared with those obtained by the classical Fay-Herriot model, by a time-series area level SAE model, and on the basis of data coming from the 2011 Population Census.

    Release date: 2018-12-20

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201800154928
    Description:

    A two-phase process was used by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to estimate the proportion of US adults with serious mental illness (SMI). The first phase was the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), while the second phase was a random subsample of adult respondents to the NSDUH. Respondents to the second phase of sampling were clinically evaluated for serious mental illness. A logistic prediction model was fit to this subsample with the SMI status (yes or no) determined by the second-phase instrument treated as the dependent variable and related variables collected on the NSDUH from all adults as the model’s explanatory variables. Estimates were then computed for SMI prevalence among all adults and within adult subpopulations by assigning an SMI status to each NSDUH respondent based on comparing his (her) estimated probability of having SMI to a chosen cut point on the distribution of the predicted probabilities. We investigate alternatives to this standard cut point estimator such as the probability estimator. The latter assigns an estimated probability of having SMI to each NSDUH respondent. The estimated prevalence of SMI is the weighted mean of those estimated probabilities. Using data from NSDUH and its subsample, we show that, although the probability estimator has a smaller mean squared error when estimating SMI prevalence among all adults, it has a greater tendency to be biased at the subpopulation level than the standard cut point estimator.

    Release date: 2018-06-21

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201700254872
    Description:

    This note discusses the theoretical foundations for the extension of the Wilson two-sided coverage interval to an estimated proportion computed from complex survey data. The interval is shown to be asymptotically equivalent to an interval derived from a logistic transformation. A mildly better version is discussed, but users may prefer constructing a one-sided interval already in the literature.

    Release date: 2017-12-21

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201700114822
    Description:

    We use a Bayesian method to infer about a finite population proportion when binary data are collected using a two-fold sample design from small areas. The two-fold sample design has a two-stage cluster sample design within each area. A former hierarchical Bayesian model assumes that for each area the first stage binary responses are independent Bernoulli distributions, and the probabilities have beta distributions which are parameterized by a mean and a correlation coefficient. The means vary with areas but the correlation is the same over areas. However, to gain some flexibility we have now extended this model to accommodate different correlations. The means and the correlations have independent beta distributions. We call the former model a homogeneous model and the new model a heterogeneous model. All hyperparameters have proper noninformative priors. An additional complexity is that some of the parameters are weakly identified making it difficult to use a standard Gibbs sampler for computation. So we have used unimodal constraints for the beta prior distributions and a blocked Gibbs sampler to perform the computation. We have compared the heterogeneous and homogeneous models using an illustrative example and simulation study. As expected, the two-fold model with heterogeneous correlations is preferred.

    Release date: 2017-06-22

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201600214662
    Description:

    Two-phase sampling designs are often used in surveys when the sampling frame contains little or no auxiliary information. In this note, we shed some light on the concept of invariance, which is often mentioned in the context of two-phase sampling designs. We define two types of invariant two-phase designs: strongly invariant and weakly invariant two-phase designs. Some examples are given. Finally, we describe the implications of strong and weak invariance from an inference point of view.

    Release date: 2016-12-20

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201600114545
    Description:

    The estimation of quantiles is an important topic not only in the regression framework, but also in sampling theory. A natural alternative or addition to quantiles are expectiles. Expectiles as a generalization of the mean have become popular during the last years as they not only give a more detailed picture of the data than the ordinary mean, but also can serve as a basis to calculate quantiles by using their close relationship. We show, how to estimate expectiles under sampling with unequal probabilities and how expectiles can be used to estimate the distribution function. The resulting fitted distribution function estimator can be inverted leading to quantile estimates. We run a simulation study to investigate and compare the efficiency of the expectile based estimator.

    Release date: 2016-06-22

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014704
    Description:

    We identify several research areas and topics for methodological research in official statistics. We argue why these are important, and why these are the most important ones for official statistics. We describe the main topics in these research areas and sketch what seems to be the most promising ways to address them. Here we focus on: (i) Quality of National accounts, in particular the rate of growth of GNI (ii) Big data, in particular how to create representative estimates and how to make the most of big data when this is difficult or impossible. We also touch upon: (i) Increasing timeliness of preliminary and final statistical estimates (ii) Statistical analysis, in particular of complex and coherent phenomena. These topics are elements in the present Strategic Methodological Research Program that has recently been adopted at Statistics Netherlands

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014713
    Description:

    Big data is a term that means different things to different people. To some, it means datasets so large that our traditional processing and analytic systems can no longer accommodate them. To others, it simply means taking advantage of existing datasets of all sizes and finding ways to merge them with the goal of generating new insights. The former view poses a number of important challenges to traditional market, opinion, and social research. In either case, there are implications for the future of surveys that are only beginning to be explored.

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014727
    Description:

    "Probability samples of near-universal frames of households and persons, administered standardized measures, yielding long multivariate data records, and analyzed with statistical procedures reflecting the design – these have been the cornerstones of the empirical social sciences for 75 years. That measurement structure have given the developed world almost all of what we know about our societies and their economies. The stored survey data form a unique historical record. We live now in a different data world than that in which the leadership of statistical agencies and the social sciences were raised. High-dimensional data are ubiquitously being produced from Internet search activities, mobile Internet devices, social media, sensors, retail store scanners, and other devices. Some estimate that these data sources are increasing in size at the rate of 40% per year. Together their sizes swamp that of the probability-based sample surveys. Further, the state of sample surveys in the developed world is not healthy. Falling rates of survey participation are linked with ever-inflated costs of data collection. Despite growing needs for information, the creation of new survey vehicles is hampered by strained budgets for official statistical agencies and social science funders. These combined observations are unprecedented challenges for the basic paradigm of inference in the social and economic sciences. This paper discusses alternative ways forward at this moment in history. "

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014738
    Description:

    In the standard design approach to missing observations, the construction of weight classes and calibration are used to adjust the design weights for the respondents in the sample. Here we use these adjusted weights to define a Dirichlet distribution which can be used to make inferences about the population. Examples show that the resulting procedures have better performance properties than the standard methods when the population is skewed.

    Release date: 2016-03-24
Reference (16)

Reference (16) (10 to 20 of 16 results)

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015650
    Description:

    The U.S. Manufacturing Plant Ownership Change Database (OCD) was constructed using plant-level data taken from the Census Bureau's Longitudinal Research Database (LRD). It contains data on all manufacturing plants that have experienced ownership change at least once during the period 1963-92. This paper reports the status of the OCD and discuss its research possibilities. For an empirical demonstration, data taken from the database are used to study the effects of ownership changes on plant closure.

    Release date: 2000-03-02

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015658
    Description:

    Radon, a naturally occurring gas found at some level in most homes, is an established risk factor for human lung cancer. The U.S. National Research Council (1999) has recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of the health risks of residential exposure to radon, and developed models for projecting radon lung cancer risks in the general population. This analysis suggests that radon may play a role in the etiology of 10-15% of all lung cancer cases in the United States, although these estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty. In this article, we present a partial analysis of uncertainty and variability in estimates of lung cancer risk due to residential exposure to radon in the United States using a general framework for the analysis of uncertainty and variability that we have developed previously. Specifically, we focus on estimates of the age-specific excess relative risk (ERR) and lifetime relative risk (LRR), both of which vary substantially among individuals.

    Release date: 2000-03-02

  • Geographic files and documentation: 92F0138M1993001
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    The Geography Divisions of Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of the Census have commenced a cooperative research program in order to foster an improved and expanded perspective on geographic areas and their relevance. One of the major objectives is to determine a common geographic area to form a geostatistical basis for cross-border research, analysis and mapping.

    This report, which represents the first stage of the research, provides a list of comparable pairs of Canadian and U.S. standard geographic areas based on current definitions. Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of the Census have two basic types of standard geographic entities: legislative/administrative areas (called "legal" entities in the U.S.) and statistical areas.

    The preliminary pairing of geographic areas are based on face-value definitions only. The definitions are based on the June 4, 1991 Census of Population and Housing for Canada and the April 1, 1990 Census of Population and Housing for the U.S.A. The important aspect is the overall conceptual comparability, not the precise numerical thresholds used for delineating the areas.

    Data users should use this report as a general guide to compare the census geographic areas of Canada and the United States, and should be aware that differences in settlement patterns and population levels preclude a precise one-to-one relationship between conceptually similar areas. The geographic areas compared in this report provide a framework for further empirical research and analysis.

    Release date: 1999-03-05

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19970013101
    Description:

    In the main body of statistics, sampling is often disposed of by assuming a sampling process that selects random variables such that they are independent and identically distributed (IID). Important techniques, like regression and contingency table analysis, were developed largely in the IID world; hence, adjustments are needed to use them in complex survey settings. Rather than adjust the analysis, however, what is new in the present formulation is to draw a second sample from the original sample. In this second sample, the first set of selections are inverted, so as to yield at the end a simple random sample. Of course, to employ this two-step process to draw a single simple random sample from the usually much larger complex survey would be inefficient, so multiple simple random samples are drawn and a way to base inferences on them developed. Not all original samples can be inverted; but many practical special cases are discussed which cover a wide range of practices.

    Release date: 1997-08-18

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19970013102
    Description:

    The selection of auxiliary variables is considered for regression estimation in finite populations under a simple random sampling design. This problem is a basic one for model-based and model-assisted survey sampling approaches and is of practical importance when the number of variables available is large. An approach is developed in which a mean squared error estimator is minimised. This approach is compared to alternative approaches using a fixed set of auxiliary variables, a conventional significance test criterion, a condition number reduction approach and a ridge regression approach. The proposed approach is found to perform well in terms of efficiency. It is noted that the variable selection approach affects the properties of standard variance estimators and thus leads to a problem of variance estimation.

    Release date: 1997-08-18

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19960022980
    Description:

    In this paper, we study a confidence interval estimation method for a finite population average when some auxiliairy information is available. As demonstrated by Royall and Cumberland in a series of empirical studies, naive use of existing methods to construct confidence intervals for population averages may result in very poor conditional coverage probabilities, conditional on the sample mean of the covariate. When this happens, we propose to transform the data to improve the precision of the normal approximation. The transformed data are then used to make inference on the original population average, and the auxiliary information is incorporated into the inference directly, or by calibration with empirical likelihood. Our approach is design-based. We apply our approach to six real populations and find that when transformation is needed, our approach performs well compared to the usual regression method.

    Release date: 1997-01-30
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