IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Confronting Prior Convictions: On Issues of Prior Sensitivity and Likelihood Robustness in Bayesian Analysis

  • Hedibert F. Lopes


    (Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637)

  • Justin L. Tobias


    (Economics Department, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana 47907)

Registered author(s):

    In this review we explore issues of the sensitivity of Bayes estimates to the prior and form of the likelihood. With respect to the prior, we argue that non-Bayesian analyses also incorporate prior information, illustrate that the Bayes posterior mean and the frequentist maximum likelihood estimator are often asymptotically equivalent, review a simple computational strategy for analyzing sensitivity to the prior in practice, and finally document the potentially important role of the prior in Bayesian model comparison. With respect to issues of likelihood robustness, we review a variety of computational strategies for significantly expanding the maintained sampling model, including the use of finite Gaussian mixture models and models based on Dirichlet process priors.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text downloads are only available to subscribers. Visit the abstract page for more information.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (09)
    Pages: 107-131

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:3:y:2011:p:107-131
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Annual Reviews 4139 El Camino Way Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA
    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:3:y:2011:p:107-131. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.