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Empirical Likelihood in Nonignorable Covariate-Missing Data Problems

Xie Yanmei () and Zhang Biao ()
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Zhang Biao: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA

The International Journal of Biostatistics, 2017, vol. 13, issue 1, 20

Abstract: Missing covariate data occurs often in regression analysis, which frequently arises in the health and social sciences as well as in survey sampling. We study methods for the analysis of a nonignorable covariate-missing data problem in an assumed conditional mean function when some covariates are completely observed but other covariates are missing for some subjects. We adopt the semiparametric perspective of Bartlett et al. (Improving upon the efficiency of complete case analysis when covariates are MNAR. Biostatistics 2014;15:719–30) on regression analyses with nonignorable missing covariates, in which they have introduced the use of two working models, the working probability model of missingness and the working conditional score model. In this paper, we study an empirical likelihood approach to nonignorable covariate-missing data problems with the objective of effectively utilizing the two working models in the analysis of covariate-missing data. We propose a unified approach to constructing a system of unbiased estimating equations, where there are more equations than unknown parameters of interest. One useful feature of these unbiased estimating equations is that they naturally incorporate the incomplete data into the data analysis, making it possible to seek efficient estimation of the parameter of interest even when the working regression function is not specified to be the optimal regression function. We apply the general methodology of empirical likelihood to optimally combine these unbiased estimating equations. We propose three maximum empirical likelihood estimators of the underlying regression parameters and compare their efficiencies with other existing competitors. We present a simulation study to compare the finite-sample performance of various methods with respect to bias, efficiency, and robustness to model misspecification. The proposed empirical likelihood method is also illustrated by an analysis of a data set from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Keywords: complete case analysis; efficiency; empirical likelihood; influence function; linear space; missing covariates; missing not at random; projection; regression; residual; unbiased estimating function (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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