Some Intuitive Prevalence Estimators
In this chapter we discuss several ad hoc estimators of the prevalence of crime, including those that the BJS has used for the percentage of households touched by crime (U.S. Department of Justice, 1981a). These estimators are not derived from probabilistic models of victimization but rather are intuitive in nature. On the one hand, they have the advantage of being relatively easy to understand and straightforward to compute. On the other hand, it is difficult to determine to what extent they actually reflect the quantity that we are trying to estimate. Nonetheless, they are very helpful as a starting point for estimating θ and to pinpoint some difficulties in this estimation.
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