Summary and Info
The randomized block design is routinely employed in the social and biopharmaceutical sciences. With no missing values, analysis of variance (AOV) can be used to analyze such experiments. However, if some data are missing, the AOV formulae are no longer applicable, and iterative methods such as restricted maximum likelihood (REML) are recommended, assuming block effects are treated as random. Despite the well-known advantages of REML, methods like AOV based on complete cases (blocks) only (CC-AOV) continue to be used by researchers, particularly in situations where routinely only a few missing values are encountered. Reasons for this appear to include a natural proclivity for non-iterative, summary-statistic-based methods, and a presumption that CC-AOV is only trivially less efficient than REML with only a few missing values (say≤10%). The purpose of this note is two-fold. First, to caution that CC-AOV can be considerably less powerful than REML even with only a few missing values. Second, to offer a summary-statistic-based, pairwise-available-case-estimation (PACE) alternative to CC-AOV. PACE, which is identical to AOV (and REML) with no missing values, outperforms CC-AOV in terms of statistical power. However, it is recommended in lieu of REMLonly if software to implement the latter is unavailable, or the use of a "transparent" formula-based approach is deemed necessary. An example using real data is provided for illustration.