Shrinkage estimation of rate statistics
This paper presents a simple shrinkage estimator of rates based on Bayesian methods. Our focus is on crime rates as a motivating example. The estimator shrinks each town’s observed crime rate toward the country-wide average crime rate according to town size. By realistic simulations we confirm that the proposed estimator outperforms the maximum likelihood estimator in terms of global risk. We also show that it has better coverage properties.