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Cattaneo, Marco E. G. V. (23. July 2012): Likelihood decision functions. Department of Statistics: Technical Reports, No.128


In both classical and Bayesian approaches, statistical inference is unified and generalized by the corresponding decision theory. This is not the case for the likelihood approach to statistical inference, in spite of the manifest success of the likelihood methods in statistics. The goal of the present work is to fill this gap, by extending the likelihood approach in order to cover decision making as well. The resulting decision functions, called likelihood decision functions, generalize the usual likelihood methods (such as ML estimators and LR tests), in the sense that these methods appear as the likelihood decision functions in particular decision problems. In general, the likelihood decision functions maintain some key properties of the usual likelihood methods, such as equivariance and asymptotic optimality. By unifying and generalizing the likelihood approach to statistical inference, the present work offers a new perspective on statistical methodology and on the connections among likelihood methods.