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Country effects in ISSP-1993 environmental data: Comparison of SEM approaches

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Structural equation models (SEM) are commonly used to analyze the relationship between variables some of which may be latent, such as individual ``attitude'' to and ``behavior'' concerning specific issues. A number of difficulties arise when we want to compare a large number of groups, each with large sample size, and the manifest variables are distinctly non-normally distributed. Using an specific data set, we evaluate the appropriateness of the following alternative SEM approaches: multiple group versus MIMIC models, continuous versus ordinal variables estimation methods, and normal theory versus non-normal estimation methods. The approaches are applied to the ISSP-1993 Environmental data set, with the purpose of exploring variation in the mean level of variables of ``attitude'' to and ``behavior'' concerning environmental issues and their mutual relationship across countries. Issues of both theoretical and practical relevance arise in the course of this application.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 458.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:458
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  1. Lieberman, Offer, 1997. "The Effect of Nonnormality," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 52-78, February.
  2. Bengt Muthén, 1989. "Latent variable modeling in heterogeneous populations," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 557-585, September.
  3. K. Jöreskog, 1971. "Simultaneous factor analysis in several populations," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 36(4), pages 409-426, December.
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