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A multifaceted sensitivity analysis of the Slovenian public opinion survey data


  • Caroline Beunckens
  • Cristina Sotto
  • Geert Molenberghs
  • Geert Verbeke


Many models to analyse incomplete data have been developed that allow the missing data to be missing not at random. Awareness has grown that such models are based on unverifiable assumptions, in the sense that they rest on the (incomplete) data only in part, but that inferences nevertheless depend on what the model predicts about the unobserved data, given the observed data. This explains why, nowadays, considerable work is being devoted to assess how sensitive models for incomplete data are to the particular model chosen, a family of models chosen and the effect of (a group of) influential subjects. For each of these categories, several proposals have been formulated, studied theoretically and/or by simulations, and applied to sets of data. It is, however, uncommon to explore various sensitivity analysis avenues simultaneously. We apply a collection of such tools, some after extension, to incomplete counts arising from cross-classified binary data from the so-called Slovenian public opinion survey. Thus for the first time bringing together a variety of sensitivity analysis tools on the same set of data, we can sketch a comprehensive sensitivity analysis picture. We show that missingness at random estimates of the proportion voting in favour of independence are insensitive to the precise choice of missingness at random model and close to the actual plebiscite results, whereas the missingness not at random models that are furthest from the plebiscite results are vulnerable to the influence of outlying cases. Our approach helps to illustrate the value of comprehensive sensitivity analysis. Ideas are formulated on the methodology's use beyond the data analysis that we consider. Copyright (c) 2009 Royal Statistical Society.

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  • Caroline Beunckens & Cristina Sotto & Geert Molenberghs & Geert Verbeke, 2009. "A multifaceted sensitivity analysis of the Slovenian public opinion survey data," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 58(2), pages 171-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssc:v:58:y:2009:i:2:p:171-196

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geert Molenberghs & Caroline Beunckens & Cristina Sotto & Michael G. Kenward, 2008. "Every missingness not at random model has a missingness at random counterpart with equal fit," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 70(2), pages 371-388.
    2. Jansen, Ivy & Hens, Niel & Molenberghs, Geert & Aerts, Marc & Verbeke, Geert & Kenward, Michael G., 2006. "The nature of sensitivity in monotone missing not at random models," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 830-858, February.
    3. Geert Verbeke & Geert Molenberghs & Herbert Thijs & Emmanuel Lesaffre & Michael G. Kenward, 2001. "Sensitivity Analysis for Nonrandom Dropout: A Local Influence Approach," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 57(1), pages 7-14, March.
    4. Geert Molenberghs & Michael G. Kenward & Els Goetghebeur, 2001. "Sensitivity analysis for incomplete contingency tables: the Slovenian plebiscite case," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 50(1), pages 15-29.
    5. Geert Molenberghs & Herbert Thijs & Michael G. Kenward & Geert Verbeke, 2003. "Sensitivity Analysis of Continuous Incomplete Longitudinal Outcomes," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 57(1), pages 112-135.
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