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Title: Bayesian hierarchical weighting adjustment and survey inference
We combine weighting and Bayesian prediction in a unified approach to survey inference. The general principles of Bayesian analysis imply that models for survey outcomes should be conditional on all variables that affect the probability of inclusion. We incorporate all the variables that are used in the weighting adjustment under the framework of multilevel regression and poststratification, as a byproduct generating model-based weights after smoothing. We improve small area estimation by dealing with different complex issues caused by real-life applications to obtain robust inference at finer levels for subdomains of interest. We investigate deep interactions and introduce structured prior distributions for smoothing and stability of estimates. The computation is done via Stan and is implemented in the open-source R package rstanarm and available for public use. We evaluate the design-based properties of the Bayesian procedure. Simulation studies illustrate how the model-based prediction and weighting inference can outperform classical weighting. We apply the method to the New York Longitudinal Study of Wellbeing. The new approach generates smoothed weights and increases efficiency for robust finite population inference, especially for subsets of the population.
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Survey methodology
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National Science Foundation
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