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Multilevel modelling of country effects: a cautionary tale

Bryan, Mark L. and Jenkins, Stephen P. ORCID: 0000-0002-8305-9774 (2016) Multilevel modelling of country effects: a cautionary tale. European Sociological Review, 32 (1). 3 - 22. ISSN 0266-7215

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Identification Number: 10.1093/esr/jcv059


Country effects on outcomes for individuals are often analysed using multilevel (hierarchical) models applied to harmonised multi-country datasets such as ESS, EU-SILC, EVS, ISSP, and SHARE. We point out problems with the assessment of country effects that appear not to be widely appreciated, and develop our arguments using Monte-Carlo simulation analysis of multilevel linear and logit models. With large sample sizes of individuals within each country but only a small number of countries, analysts can reliably estimate individual-level effects but estimates of parameters summarising country effects are likely to be unreliable. Multilevel modelling methods are no panacea.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2015 14:26
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 15:23
Projects: Analysing Life Changes in Europe project RES-062-23-1455, RES-518-28-001
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, University of Essex

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