The Choice Between Fixed and Random Effects Models: Some Considerations for Educational Research
AbstractWe discuss fixed and random effects models in the context of educational research and set out the assumptions behind the two approaches. To illustrate the issues, we analyse the determinants of pupil achievement in primary school, using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. We conclude that a fixed effects approach will be preferable in scenarios where the primary interest is in policy-relevant inference of the effects of individual characteristics, but the process through which pupils are selected into schools is poorly understood or the data are too limited to adjust for the effects of selection. In this context, the robustness of the fixed effects approach to the random effects assumption is attractive, and educational researchers should consider using it, even if only to assess the robustness of estimates obtained from random effects models. When the selection mechanism is fairly well understood and the researcher has access to rich data, the random effects model should be preferred because it can produce policy-relevant estimates while allowing a wider range of research questions to be addressed. Moreover, random effects estimators of regression coefficients and shrinkage estimators of school effects are more statistically efficient than those for fixed effects.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5287.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- Paul Clarke & Claire Crawford & Fiona Steele & Anna Vignoles, 2010. "The choice between fixed and random effects models: some considerations for educational research," DoQSS Working Papers 10-10, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
- Paul Clarke & Claire Crawford & Fiona Steele & Anna Vignoles, 2010. "The Choice between fixed and random effects models: some considerations for educational research," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/240, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2010-11-13 (Education)
- NEP-URE-2010-11-13 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.