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Spatial Effects and Ecological Inference

  • Luc Anselin (a1) and Wendy K. Tam Cho (a2)


This paper examines the role of spatial effects in ecological inference. Both formally and through simulation experiments, we consider the problems associated with ecological inference and cross-level inference methods in the presence of increasing degrees of spatial autocorrelation. Past assessments of spatial autocorrelation in aggregate data analysis focused on unidimensional, one-directional processes that are not representative of the full complexities caused by spatial autocorrelation. Our analysis is more complete and representative of true forms of spatial autocorrelation and pays particular attention to the specification of spatial autocorrelation in models with random coefficient variation. Our assessment focuses on the effects of this specification on the bias and precision of parameter estimates.



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