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A Computationally More Efficient and More Accurate Stepwise Approach for Correcting for Sampling Error and Measurement Error
Zitzmann,S.

A Computationally More Efficient and More Accurate Stepwise Approach for Correcting for Sampling Error and Measurement Error

Multivariate Behavioral Research. doi: 10.1080/00273171.2018.1469086

Over the last decade or two, multilevel structural equation modeling (ML-SEM) has become a prominent modeling approach in the social sciences because it allows researchers to correct for sampling and measurement errors and thus to estimate the effects of Level 2 (L2) constructs without bias. Because the latent variable modeling softwareMplus uses maximum likelihood (ML) by default, many researchers in the social sciences have applied ML to obtain estimates of L2 regression coefficients. However, one drawback of ML is that covariance matrices of the predictor variables at L2 tend to be degenerate, and thus, estimates of L2 regression coefficients tend to be rather inaccurate when sample sizes are small. In this article, I show how an approach for stabilizing covariancematrices at L2 can be used to obtain more accurate estimates of L2 regression coefficients. A simulation study is conducted to compare the proposed approach with ML, and I illustrate its application with an example from organizational research.