International Statistical Review

Towards a Routine External Evaluation Protocol for Small Area Estimation

Journal Article


Statistical criteria are needed by which to evaluate the potential success or failure of applications of small area estimation. A necessary step to achieve this is a protocol—a series of steps—by which to assess whether an instance of small area estimation has given satisfactory results or not. Most customary attempts at evaluation of small area techniques have deficiencies. Often, evaluation is not attempted. Every small area study requires an external evaluation. With proper planning, this can be routinely achieved, although at some cost, amounting to some sacrifice of efficiency of global estimates. We propose a Routine External Evaluation Protocol to allow us to judge whether, in a given survey, small area estimation has led to accurate results and sound inference.

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