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Bayesian geoadditive sample selection models

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Sample selection models attempt to correct for non-randomly selected data in a two-model hierarchy where, on the first level, a binary selection equation determines whether a particular observation will be available for the second level, i.e. in the outcome equation. Ignoring the non-random selection mechanism that is induced by the selection equation may result in biased estimation of the coefficients in the outcome equation. In the application that motivated this research, we analyse relief supply in earthquake-affected communities in Pakistan, where the decision to deliver goods represents the dependent variable in the selection equation whereas factors that determine the amount of goods supplied are analysed in the outcome equation. In this application, the inclusion of spatial effects is necessary since the available covariate information on the community level is rather scarce. Moreover, the high temporal dynamics underlying the immediate delivery of relief supply after a natural disaster calls for non-linear, time varying effects. We propose a geoadditive sample selection model that allows us to address these issues in a general Bayesian framework with inference being based on Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation techniques. The model proposed is studied in simulations and applied to the relief supply data from Pakistan.

Keywords: Heckman regression; Markov chain Monte Carlo methods; Markov random fields; Penalized splines; Selection bias; Varying coefficients

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany 2: Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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