Indirect inference for survival data

Bruce W. Turnbull*, Wenxin Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we describe the so-called "indirect" method of inference, originally developed from the econometric literature, and apply it to survival analyses of two data sets with repeated events. This method is often more convenient computationally than maximum likelihood estimation when handling such model complexities as random effects and measurement error, for example; and it can also serve as a basis for robust inference with less stringent assumptions on the data generating mechanism. The first data set concerns recurrence times of mammary tumors in rats and is modeled using a Poisson process model with covariates and frailties. The second data set involves times of recurrences of skin tumors in individual patients in a clinical trial. The methodology is applied in both parametric and semi-parametric regression analyses to accommodate random effects and covariate measurement error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Estimating equations
  • Frailty
  • Hazard rate regression
  • Indirect inference
  • Measurement error
  • Naive estimators
  • Overdispersion
  • Quasi-likelihood
  • Random effects
  • Robustness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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