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  1. Abstract Multiple imputation (MI) is a popular and well-established method for handling missing data in multivariate data sets, but its practicality for use in massive and complex data sets has been questioned. One such data set is the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a longstanding and extensive survey of household income and wealth in the United States. Missing data for this survey are currently handled using traditional hot deck methods because of the simple implementation; however, the univariate hot deck results in large random wealth fluctuations. MI is effective but faced with operational challenges. We use a sequential regression/chained-equation approach, using the software IVEware, to multiply impute cross-sectional wealth data in the 2013 PSID, and compare analyses of the resulting imputed data with those from the current hot deck approach. Practical difficulties, such as non-normally distributed variables, skip patterns, categorical variables with many levels, and multicollinearity, are described together with our approaches to overcoming them. We evaluate the imputation quality and validity with internal diagnostics and external benchmarking data. MI produces improvements over the existing hot deck approach by helping preserve correlation structures, such as the associations between PSID wealth components and the relationships between the household net worthmore »and sociodemographic factors, and facilitates completed data analyses with general purposes. MI incorporates highly predictive covariates into imputation models and increases efficiency. We recommend the practical implementation of MI and expect greater gains when the fraction of missing information is large.« less
  2. 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.