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We propose a new two-parameter continuous model called the extended arcsine distribution restricted to the unit interval. It is a very competitive model to the beta and Kumaraswamy distributions for modeling percentages, rates, fractions and proportions. We provide a mathematical treatment of the new distribution including explicit expressions for the ordinary and incomplete moments, mean deviations, Bonferroni and Lorenz curves, generating and quantile functions, Shannon entropy and order statistics. Maximum likelihood is used to estimate the model parameters and the expected information matrix is determined. We demonstrate by means of two applications to proportional data that it can give consistently a better fit than other important statistical models.

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Motivated by results in Rotnitzky et al. (2000), a family of parametrizations of the location-scale skew-normal model is introduced, and it is shown that, under each member of this class, the hypothesis H 0: λ = 0 is invariant, where λ is the asymmetry parameter. Using the trace of the inverse variance matrix associated to a generalized gradient as a selection index, a subclass of optimal parametrizations is identified, and it is proved that a slight variant of Azzalini’s centred parametrization is optimal. Next, via an arbitrary optimal parametrization, a simple derivation of the limit behavior of maximum likelihood estimators is given under H 0, and the asymptotic distribution of the corresponding likelihood ratio statistic for this composite hypothesis is determined.

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