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Analysis of Life Tables with Grouping and Withdrawals
D. V. Lindley
Vol. 35, No. 3 (Sep., 1979), pp. 605-612
Published by: International Biometric Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2530251
Page Count: 8
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A number of individuals is observed at the beginning of a period. At the end of the period the number surviving, the number who have died and the number who have withdrawn are noted. From these three numbers it is required to estimate the death rate for the period. All relevant quantities are supposed independent and identically distributed for the individuals. The likelihood is calculated and found to depend on two parameters, other than the death rate, and to be unidentifiable so that no consistent estimators exist. For large numbers, the posterior distribution of the death rate is approximated by a normal distribution whose mean is the root of a quadratic equation and whose variance is the sum of two terms; the first is proportional to the reciprocal of the number of individuals, as usually happens with a consistent estimator; the second does not tend to zero and depends on initial opinions about one of the nuisance parameters. The paper is a simple exercise in the routine use of coherent, Bayesian methodology. Numerical calculations illustrate the results.
Biometrics © 1979 International Biometric Society