Statistical Analysis of Trip Cost Data Collected by the Northeast Observer Program

nullDi Jin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Abstract

The Social Sciences Branch (SSB) of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center has been involved in collecting trip-related economic information on sea sampling trips for over two decades. Although the data have been used in various economic analyses over the years, there has been no study conducted on the underlying statistical properties of the collected data. Since the sampling program is designed to address biological concerns rather than for cost estimation, the selection of trips to be observed is driven by factors outside the control of the SSB. Thus, potential biases may exist in the trip cost estimates based on the sea sampling data, which may lead to erroneous conclusions in management studies. The project will focus on understanding the statistical properties of the sea sampling data in order to ensure that the cost data are properly used in economic models and other analyses. Project tasks will include basic statistical analysis of data stratification and sampling rate, as well as alternative models of truncated variables.