When computing a confidence interval for a binomial proportion $p$ one must choose between using an exact interval, which has a coverage probability of at least $1-\alpha$ for all values of $p$, and a shorter approximate interval, which may have lower coverage for some $p$ but that on average has coverage equal to $1-\alpha$. We investigate the cost of using the exact one and two-sided Clopper–Pearson confidence intervals rather than shorter approximate intervals, first in terms of increased expected length and then in terms of the increase in sample size required to obtain a desired expected length. Using asymptotic expansions, we also give a closed-form formula for determining the sample size for the exact Clopper–Pearson methods. For two-sided intervals, our investigation reveals an interesting connection between the frequentist Clopper–Pearson interval and Bayesian intervals based on noninformative priors.
"The cost of using exact confidence intervals for a binomial proportion." Electron. J. Statist. 8 (1) 817 - 840, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1214/14-EJS909