Smoothing hazard functions and time-varying effects in discrete duration and competing risks models. (English) Zbl 0883.62098

Summary: State-space or dynamic approaches to discrete or grouped duration data with competing risks or multiple terminating events allow simultaneous modeling and smooth estimation of hazard functions and time-varying effects in a flexible way. Full Bayesian or posterior mean estimation, using numerical integration techniques or Monte Carlo methods, can become computationally rather demanding or even infeasible for higher dimensions and larger datasets. Therefore, based on previous work on filtering and smoothing for multicategorical time series and longitudinal data, our approach uses posterior mode estimation. Thus we have to maximize posterior densities or, equivalently, a penalized likelihood, which enforces smoothness of hazard functions and time-varying effects by a roughness penalty. Dropping the Bayesian smoothness prior and adopting a nonparametric viewpoint, one might also start directly from maximizing this penalized likelihood.
We show how Fisher scoring smoothing iterations can be carried out efficiently by iteratively applying linear Kalman filtering and smoothing to a working model. This algorithm can be combined with an EM-type procedure to estimate unknown smoothing parameters or hyperparameters. The methods are applied to a larger set of unemployment duration data with one terminating event and, in a further analysis, multiple terminating events from the German socioeconomic panel GSOEP.


62M10 Time series, auto-correlation, regression, etc. in statistics (GARCH)
62P20 Applications of statistics to economics
65C99 Probabilistic methods, stochastic differential equations
62M20 Inference from stochastic processes and prediction
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