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Keywords:

  • Cox model;
  • counting processes;
  • proportional hazards test;
  • survival data;
  • time-varying effects

Abstract.  Cox's proportional hazards model is routinely used in many applied fields, some times, however, with too little emphasis on the fit of the model. In this paper, we suggest some new tests for investigating whether or not covariate effects vary with time. These tests are a natural and integrated part of an extended version of the Cox model. An important new feature of the suggested test is that time constancy for a specific covariate is examined in a model, where some effects of other covariates are allowed to vary with time and some are constant; thus making successive testing of time-dependency possible. The proposed techniques are illustrated with the well-known Mayo liver disease data, and a small simulation study investigates the finite sample properties of the tests.