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Measuring overfitting and mispecification in nonlinear models


  • Bilger M.
  • Manning W.G


We start by proposing a new measure of overfitting expressed on the untransformed scale of the dependent variable, which is generally the scale of interest to the analyst.We then show that with nonlinear models shrinkage due to overfitting gets confounded by shrinkage—or expansion— arising from model misspecification. Out-of-sample predictive calibration can in fact be expressed as in-sample calibration times 1 minus this new measure of overfitting. We finally argue that re-calibration should be performed on the scale of interest and provide both a simulation study and a real-data illustration based on health care expenditure data.

Suggested Citation

  • Bilger M. & Manning W.G, 2011. "Measuring overfitting and mispecification in nonlinear models," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/25, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manning, Willard G. & Basu, Anirban & Mullahy, John, 2005. "Generalized modeling approaches to risk adjustment of skewed outcomes data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 465-488, May.
    2. Anirban Basu & Bhakti V. Arondekar & Paul J. Rathouz, 2006. "Scale of interest versus scale of estimation: comparing alternative estimators for the incremental costs of a comorbidity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(10), pages 1091-1107.
    3. Blough, David K. & Madden, Carolyn W. & Hornbrook, Mark C., 1999. "Modeling risk using generalized linear models," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 153-171, April.
    4. Manning, Willard G. & Mullahy, John, 2001. "Estimating log models: to transform or not to transform?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 461-494, July.
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    overfitting; shrinkage; misspecification; forecasting; health care expenditure;

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