Statistical Science

Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal

M. Ghosh and J. N. K. Rao

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Abstract

Small area estimation is becoming important in survey sampling due to a growing demand for reliable small area statistics from both public and private sectors. It is now widely recognized that direct survey estimates for small areas are likely to yield unacceptably large standard errors due to the smallness of sample sizes in the areas. This makes it necessary to "borrow strength" from related areas to find more accurate estimates for a given area or, simultaneously, for several areas. This has led to the development of alternative methods such as synthetic, sample size dependent, empirical best linear unbiased prediction, empirical Bayes and hierarchical Bayes estimation. The present article is largely an appraisal of some of these methods. The performance of these methods is also evaluated using some synthetic data resembling a business population. Empirical best linear unbiased prediction as well as empirical and hierarchical Bayes, for most purposes, seem to have a distinct advantage over other methods.

Article information

Source
Statist. Sci. Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 55-76.

Dates
First available in Project Euclid: 19 April 2007

Permanent link to this document
https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1177010647

Digital Object Identifier
doi:10.1214/ss/1177010647

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)
MR1278679

Zentralblatt MATH identifier
0955.62538

JSTOR
links.jstor.org

Keywords
Borrowing strength demographic methods empirical Bayes empirical best linear unbiased prediction hierarchical Bayes synthetic estimation

Citation

Ghosh, M.; Rao, J. N. K. Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal. Statist. Sci. 9 (1994), no. 1, 55--76. doi:10.1214/ss/1177010647. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1177010647


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See also

  • See Comment: Noel Cressie, Mark S. Kaiser. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Comment. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 76--80.
  • See Comment: D. Holt. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Comment. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 80--82.
  • See Comment: Wesley L. Schaible, Robert J. Casady. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Comment. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 82--84.
  • See Comment: Avinash C. Singh. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Comment. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 84--87.
  • See Comment: Elizabeth A. Stasny. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Comment. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 87--89.
  • See Comment: Ib Thomsen. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Comment. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 89--90.
  • See Comment: M. Ghosh, J. N. K. Rao. [Small Area Estimation: An Appraisal]: Rejoinder. Statist. Sci., Volume 9, Number 1 (1994), 90--93.