A noninformative bayesian approach for selecting a good post-stratification

Patrick Zimmerman, Glen Meeden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the standard design approach to survey sampling prior information is often used to stratify the population of interest. A good choice of the strata can yield significant improvement in the resulting estimator. However, if there are several possible ways to stratify the population, it might not be clear which is best. Here we assume that before the sample is taken a limited number of possible stratifications have been defined. We will propose an objective Bayesian approach that allows one to consider these several different possible stratifications simultaneously. Given the sample the posterior distribution will assign more weight to the good stratifications and less to the others. Empirical results suggest that the resulting estimator will typically be almost as good as the estimator based on the best stratification and better than the estimator which does not use stratification. It will also have a sensible estimate of precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2515-2536
Number of pages22
JournalElectronic Journal of Statistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Finite population sampling
  • Prior information
  • Stepwise Bayes
  • Stratification

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