Model-Assisted Estimation for Complex Surveys Using Penalized Splines
31 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2006
Date Written: March 23, 2005
Estimation of finite population totals in the presence of auxiliary information is considered. A class of estimators based on penalized spline regression is proposed. These estimators are weighted linear combinations of sample observations, with weights calibrated to known control totals. Further, they allow straightforward extensions to multiple auxiliary variables and to complex designs. Under standard design conditions, the estimators are design consistent and asymptotically normal, and they admit consistent variance estimation using familiar design-based methods. Data-driven penalty selection is considered in the context of unequal probability sampling designs. Simulation experiments show that the estimators are more efficient than parametric regression estimators when the parametric model is incorrectly specified, while being approximately as efficient when the parametric specification is correct. An example using Forest Health Monitoring survey data from the U.S. Forest Service demonstrates the applicability of the methodology in the context of a two-phase survey with multiple auxiliary variables.
Keywords: Calibration, Generalized regression estimation, Nonparametric regression, Restricted maximum likelihood
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