A comparison of procedures for handling mobility and missing level-2 identifiers in two-level data Online publication date: Sat, 30-Aug-2014
by Lindsey J. Wolff Smith; S. Natasha Beretvas
International Journal of Quantitative Research in Education (IJQRE), Vol. 2, No. 2, 2014
Abstract: This simulation study compared three ad hoc procedures for handling mobility of level-1 units across level-2 units and handling missing level-2 (here, school) identifiers for some level-1 units (students). The HLM-Delete procedure used the conventional hierarchical linear model (HLM) to analyse a dataset from which mobile and missing-identifier students had been removed. The MMREM-Delete procedure involved removing only students who were missing level-2 identifiers and estimating a multiple membership random effects model (MMREM). The third procedure (MMREM-Unique) involved no deletion and entailed creation of a pseudo-identifier for each missing level-2 identifier. All three procedures omitted a predictor of mobility from the estimating model. To provide a baseline comparison, a correctly specified MMREM was also estimated. Relative parameter bias was calculated for each parameter estimated. Across conditions, each procedure had some level of substantial bias with HLM-Delete performing worst. Results and implications for applied researchers are discussed.
Online publication date: Sat, 30-Aug-2014
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