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August 1999 Analysis of Local Decisions Using Hierarchical Modeling, Applied to Home Radon Measurement and Remediation
Andrew Gelman, David H. Krantz, Chiayu Lin, Phillip N. Price
Statist. Sci. 14(3): 305-337 (August 1999). DOI: 10.1214/ss/1009212411


This paper examines the decision problems associated with measurement and remediation of environmental hazards, using the example of indoor radon (a carcinogen) as a case study. Innovative methods developed here include (1) the use of results from a previous hierarchical statistical analysis to obtain probability distributions with local variation in both predictions and uncertainties, (2) graphical methods to display the aggregate consequences of decisions by individuals and (3) alternative parameterizations for individual variation in the dollar value of a given reduction in risk. We perform cost­benefit analyses for a variety of decision strategies, as a function of home types and geography, so that measurement and remediation can be recommended where it is most effective. We also briefly discuss the sensitivity of policy recommendations and outcomes to uncertainty in inputs. For the home radon example, we estimate that if the recommended decision rule were applied to all houses in the United States, it would be possible to save the same number of lives as with the current official recommendations for about 40% less cost.


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Andrew Gelman. David H. Krantz. Chiayu Lin. Phillip N. Price. "Analysis of Local Decisions Using Hierarchical Modeling, Applied to Home Radon Measurement and Remediation." Statist. Sci. 14 (3) 305 - 337, August 1999.


Published: August 1999
First available in Project Euclid: 24 December 2001

zbMATH: 1059.62745
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/ss/1009212411

Rights: Copyright © 1999 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.14 • No. 3 • August 1999
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