Robust inference under the beta regression model with application to health care studies

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Statistical Methods in Medical Research


Data on rates, percentages, or proportions arise frequently in many different applied disciplines like medical biology, health care, psychology, and several others. In this paper, we develop a robust inference procedure for the beta regression model, which is used to describe such response variables taking values in (0, 1) through some related explanatory variables. In relation to the beta regression model, the issue of robustness has been largely ignored in the literature so far. The existing maximum likelihood-based inference has serious lack of robustness against outliers in data and generate drastically different (erroneous) inference in the presence of data contamination. Here, we develop the robust minimum density power divergence estimator and a class of robust Wald-type tests for the beta regression model along with several applications. We derive their asymptotic properties and describe their robustness theoretically through the influence function analyses. Finite sample performances of the proposed estimators and tests are examined through suitable simulation studies and real data applications in the context of health care and psychology. Although we primarily focus on the beta regression models with a fixed dispersion parameter, some indications are also provided for extension to the variable dispersion beta regression models with an application.

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Open Access, Green