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Biometrics. 1988 Dec;44(4):1073-81.

Use and abuse of variance models in regression.

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Department of Medical Statistics, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.


In (nonlinear) regression with heteroscedastic errors, introduction of a variance model can be useful to obtain good estimators of the regression parameter. For example, the variance model can be used to obtain the optimal weights in weighted least squares. Methodology of this kind is often used in the analysis of assay data in clinical chemistry, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology. In a series of papers in the pharmacological literature, Sheiner and Beal and others advocate the extended least squares (ELS) methodology that combines regression and variance model into a single objective function based on normal-theory maximum likelihood. The inadequacy of this method is folklore in the (mathematical) statistical literature. In this article it is pointed out that this methodology may lead to inconsistent estimators in practically relevant situations. A review is given of other methods that may be preferable to ELS.

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