Open Access from International Statistical Review: Estimating the Reciprocal of a Binomial Proportion

Each week, we select a recently published Open Access article to feature. This week’s article comes from the International Statistical Review and develops an estimator that aims to eliminate the estimation bias.

The article’s abstract is given below, with the full article available to read here.

Wei, JHe, PTong, TEstimating the Reciprocal of a Binomial ProportionInternational Statistical Review2023

The binomial proportion is a classic parameter with many applications and has also been extensively studied in the literature. By contrast, the reciprocal of the binomial proportion, or the inverse proportion, is often overlooked, even though it also plays an important role in various fields. To estimate the inverse proportion, the maximum likelihood method fails to yield a valid estimate when there is no successful event in the Bernoulli trials. To overcome this zero-event problem, several methods have been introduced in the previous literature. Yet to the best of our knowledge, there is little work on a theoretical comparison of the existing estimators. In this paper, we first review some commonly used estimators for the inverse proportion, study their asymptotic properties, and then develop a new estimator that aims to eliminate the estimation bias. We further conduct Monte Carlo simulations to compare the finite sample performance of the existing and new estimators, and also apply them to handle the zero-event problem in a meta-analysis of COVID-19 data for assessing the relative risks of physical distancing on the infection of coronavirus.

More Details