Simulated data sets are used to evaluate conditional and unconditional maximum likelihood estimation in an individual case-control design with continuous covariates when there are different rates of excluded cases and different levels of other design parameters. The effectiveness of the estimation procedures is measured by method bias, variance of the estimators, root mean square error (RMSE) for logistic regression and the percentage of explained variation. Conditional estimation leads to higher RMSE than unconditional estimation in the presence of missing observations, especially for 1:1 matching. The RMSE is higher for the smaller stratum size, especially for the 1:1 matching. The percentage of explained variation appears to be insensitive to missing data, but is generally higher for the conditional estimation than for the unconditional estimation. It is particularly good for the 1:2 matching design. For minimizing RMSE, a high matching ratio is recommended; in this case, conditional and unconditional logistic regression models yield comparable levels of effectiveness. For maximizing the percentage of explained variation, the 1:2 matching design with the conditional logistic regression model is recommended.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/harry_khamis/180/