A direct Monte Carlo approach for Bayesian analysis of the seemingly unrelated regression model
ABSTRACT Computationally efficient methods for Bayesian analysis of seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) models are described and applied that involve the use of a direct Monte Carlo (DMC) approach to calculate Bayesian estimation and prediction results using diffuse or informative priors. This DMC approach is employed to compute Bayesian marginal posterior densities, moments, intervals and other quantities, using data simulated from known models and also using data from an empirical example involving firms’ sales. The results obtained by the DMC approach are compared to those yielded by the use of a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. It is concluded from these comparisons that the DMC approach is worthwhile and applicable to many SUR and other problems.
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ABSTRACT: Cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) may use data from cluster randomized trials (CRTs), where the unit of randomization is the cluster, not the individual. However, most studies use analytical methods that ignore clustering. This article compares alternative statistical methods for accommodating clustering in CEAs of CRTs. Our simulation study compared the performance of statistical methods for CEAs of CRTs with 2 treatment arms. The study considered a method that ignored clustering--seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) without a robust standard error (SE)--and 4 methods that recognized clustering--SUR and generalized estimating equations (GEEs), both with robust SE, a "2-stage" nonparametric bootstrap (TSB) with shrinkage correction, and a multilevel model (MLM). The base case assumed CRTs with moderate numbers of balanced clusters (20 per arm) and normally distributed costs. Other scenarios included CRTs with few clusters, imbalanced cluster sizes, and skewed costs. Performance was reported as bias, root mean squared error (rMSE), and confidence interval (CI) coverage for estimating incremental net benefits (INBs). We also compared the methods in a case study. Each method reported low levels of bias. Without the robust SE, SUR gave poor CI coverage (base case: 0.89 v. nominal level: 0.95). The MLM and TSB performed well in each scenario (CI coverage, 0.92-0.95). With few clusters, the GEE and SUR (with robust SE) had coverage below 0.90. In the case study, the mean INBs were similar across all methods, but ignoring clustering underestimated statistical uncertainty and the value of further research. MLMs and the TSB are appropriate analytical methods for CEAs of CRTs with the characteristics described. SUR and GEE are not recommended for studies with few clusters.Medical Decision Making 10/2011; 32(2):350-61. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We discuss Bayesian inferential procedures within the family of instrumental variables regression models and focus on two issues: existence conditions for posterior moments of the parameters of interest under a flat prior and the potential of Direct Monte Carlo (DMC) approaches for efficient evaluation of such possibly highly onelliptical posteriors. We show that, for the general case of m endogenous variables under a flat prior, posterior moments of order r exist for the coefficients reflecting the endogenous regressors’ effect on the dependent variable, if the number of instruments is greater than m+r, even though there is an issue of local non-identification that causes non-elliptical shapes of the posterior. This stresses the need for efficient Monte Carlo integration methods. We introduce an extension of DMC that incorporates an acceptance-rejection sampling step within DMC. This Acceptance-Rejection within Direct Monte Carlo (ARDMC) method has the attractive property that the generated random drawings are independent, which greatly helps the fast convergence of simulation results, and which facilitates the evaluation of the numerical accuracy. The speed of ARDMC can be easily further improved by making use of parallelized computation using multiple core machines or computer clusters. We note that ARDMC is an analogue to the well-known 'Metropolis-Hastings within Gibbs' sampling in the sense that one 'more difficult' step is used within an 'easier' simulation method. We compare the ARDMC approach with the Gibbs sampler using simulated data and two empirical data sets, involving the settler mortality instrument of Acemoglu et al. (2001) and father's education's instrument used by Hoogerheide et al. (2012a). Even without making use of parallelized computation, an efficiency gain is observed both under strong and weak instruments, where the gain can be enormous in the latter case.Econometric Reviews 09/2012; · 0.81 Impact Factor