Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Bailey and Danziger's War on Poverty book reviewed in NY Review of Books

Bloomberg cites MTF data in story on CDC's anti-smoking ads for e-cigarettes

Bound says notion that foreign college students are displacing U.S. students "isn't right"

Highlights

U-M ranked #1 in Sociology of Population by USN&WR's "Best Graduate Schools"

PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Next Brown Bag

Mon, April 6
Jinkook Lee, Wellbeing of the Elderly in East Asia

Philippa J. Clarke photo

Addressing data sparseness in contextual population research - Using cluster analysis to create synthetic neighborhoods

Publication Abstract

Clarke, Philippa J., and B. Wheaton. 2007. "Addressing data sparseness in contextual population research - Using cluster analysis to create synthetic neighborhoods." Sociological Methods & Research, 35(3): 311-351.

The use of multilevel modeling with data from population-based surveys is often limited by the small number of cases per Level 2 unit, prompting a recent trend in the neighborhood literature to apply cluster techniques to address the problem of data sparseness. In this study, the authors use Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the effects of marginal group sizes on multilevel model performance, bias, and efficiency. They then employ cluster analysis techniques to minimize data sparseness and examine the consequences in the simulations. They find that estimates of the fixed effects are robust at the extremes of data sparseness, while cluster analysis is an effective strategy to increase group size and prevent the overestimation of variance components. However, researchers should be cautious about the degree to which they use such clustering techniques due to the introduction of artificial within-group heterogeneity.

DOI:10.1177/0049124106292362 (Full Text)

Licensed Access Link

Public Access Link

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next