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Psychol Methods. 2007 Mar;12(1):45-57.

Predicting group-level outcome variables from variables measured at the individual level: a latent variable multilevel model.

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Department of Statistics and Methodology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands.


In multilevel modeling, one often distinguishes between macro-micro and micro-macro situations. In a macro-micro multilevel situation, a dependent variable measured at the lower level is predicted or explained by variables measured at that lower or a higher level. In a micro-macro multilevel situation, a dependent variable defined at the higher group level is predicted or explained on the basis of independent variables measured at the lower individual level. Up until now, multilevel methodology has mainly focused on macro-micro multilevel situations. In this article, a latent variable model is proposed for analyzing data from micro-macro situations. It is shown that regression analyses carried out at the aggregated level result in biased parameter estimates. A method that uses the best linear unbiased predictors of the group means is shown to yield unbiased estimates of the parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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