[gov3009-l] Applied Stats 11/5

Dana Higgins danahiggins at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Nov 3 10:47:02 EST 2014

Hi everyone!

This week in applied stats we are welcoming *Devin Caughey, *a Professor of
Political Science at MIT.  Devin will be presenting a joint project
entitled *Bayesian Population Interpolation and Lasso-Based Target
Selection in Survey Weighting.  *The abstract is included below and can be
found on the website (here
As usual, we will meet in CGIS Knafel Room 354 at 12 pm and lunch will be

I look forward to seeing you all there!  Thanks!

-- Dana Higgins

*Title: *Bayesian Population Interpolation and Lasso-Based Target Selection
in Survey Weighting

*Abstract:* We propose solutions to two important problems that have
received relatively little attention in the field of survey weighting: the
construction of population targets in the face of irregularly missing data,
and the optimal selection of weighting targets from the set of possible
auxiliary variables. Our solution to the first problem relies on a dynamic
Bayesian population-interpolation model that allows subpopulation estimates
in a given year to be informed by data from other years. To address the
second, we formulate the problem of target selection as one of variable
subset selection, for which we propose a lasso-based solution. We
demonstrate the usefulness of these techniques by using them to generate
weights for quota-sampled opinion polls from the early days of survey
research. Given the declining response rates, rising use of non-probability
samples, and growth in potential sources of auxiliary information in
modern-day polling, these methods have wide potential application in
contemporary survey research as well. (co-authored with Mallory Wang)
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