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Some methodological issues of statistical estimation of air pollution and health

: Gottinger, Hans W.

FhG-Berichte (1988), Nr.2
ISSN: 0342-1953
Fraunhofer INT ()
air pollution; health; non-parametric statistic

This paper introduces a new method for estimating a dose response relationship from spatially averaged time series of air pollution and health data. Because time is perceived as a nuisance parameter to be eliminated, least-squares regression and traditional time series methodology (e.g. spectral analysis, Box-Jenkins methods) are rejected in favor of a nonparametric estimation procedure based on observing health effects in times of nearly equal pollution. The method requires estimating the ratio of two density functions and avoids problems of aggregation, linearity and normality. In spite of the formal tests described, the procedure seems most useful, at present, as a data analytic and data display device rather than as an inferential tool. (INT)