Probability estimation when some observations are grouped

Sergey S. Tarima, Svetla S. Slavova, Travis A. Fritsch, Laura M. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper considers the use of additional questions for decreasing survey non-response rates and an approach for estimating a probability based on the results obtained. In a survey, the respondents are asked to answer an original question and follow-up questions, where the answers for the follow-up questions are grouped answers for the original question. For example, respondents are asked to provide an exact number of incidents, but in cases of 'Do not know' or 'Refuse' responses, they are subsequently asked to pick an answer from a less specific categorical scale. The new estimator obtains smaller variance asymptotically and does not depend on a distribution family. This method is applied to income questions in a survey regarding injury prevention and behaviours. Another application is survey data on intimate partner violence, where some amendments were applied for incorporating post-stratification weights and for using non-random grouping. For additional illustration, an example of parameter estimation on artificially generated data is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1745-1761
Number of pages17
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2007


  • Income questions
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Item non-response
  • Partially grouped sample
  • Probability estimation
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability


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