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Combining information from multiple surveys by using regression for efficient small domain estimation

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In sample surveys of finite populations, subpopulations for which the sample size is too small for estimation of adequate precision are referred to as small domains. Demand for small domain estimates has been growing in recent years among users of survey data. We explore the possibility of enhancing the precision of domain estimators by combining comparable information collected in multiple surveys of the same population. For this, we propose a regression method of estimation that is essentially an extended calibration procedure whereby comparable domain estimates from the various surveys are calibrated to each other. We show through analytic results and an empirical study that this method may greatly improve the precision of domain estimators for the variables that are common to these surveys, as these estimators make effective use of increased sample size for the common survey items. The design-based direct estimators proposed involve only domain-specific data on the variables of interest. This is in contrast with small domain (mostly small area) indirect estimators, based on a single survey, which incorporate through modelling data that are external to the targeted small domains. The approach proposed is also highly effective in handling the closely related problem of estimation for rare population characteristics.
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Keywords: Auxiliary information; Calibration; Composite estimator; Generalized regression estimator; Rare populations; Small area estimation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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