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RE: st: dependent variables= mortality rates in GEE and sample size????

From   Alison McCarthy <>
To   stata <>
Subject   RE: st: dependent variables= mortality rates in GEE and sample size????
Date   Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:43:07 +1030

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Dear Maarten
Thanks for this thoughtful reply. It is a very interesting point you make=
=2C and one I try and think about often. Oh the limitations of ecological d=
Best wishes and thanks again

> Date: Thu=2C 29 Oct 2009 23:21:50 +0000
> From:
> Subject: Re: st: dependent variables=3D mortality rates in GEE and sample=
> To:
> --- On Thu=2C 29/10/09=2C Alison McCarthy wrote:
>> I have panel data of 38 countries over the period 1980 to
>> 2005. I have calculated age standardized mortality rates in
>> each of these countries. Can I use these as the outcome
>> variable of internet in my GEE model or is there an issue
>> because they are rates?
>> Also is a sample size of 38 countries (obs 748) too small?
> I don't think that the sample size is an issue. Actually=2C it
> is not ideal=2C but there isn't much you can do about it=2C as
> you probably got already all countries for which this data
> is easily available.
> Anyhow the real problem is how you want to interpret the
> results: has internet access an influence on an individuals
> probability of dying (soon) or on the mortality rate in a
> country. These effects can be very different and easily
> have opposite signs=2C so the one says very little about the
> other. Consider for example voting republican or democrat
> in the US: The rich states vote democrat (east coast and
> west coast) while the poor states vote republican. However=2C
> rich people are more likely to vote republican and the
> poor more likely to vote democrat: so the effect of wealth
> on the state level is exactly the opposite of the effect
> of wealth on the individual level. As a consequence=2C your
> analysis will tell you something about differences
> between countries=2C but it will tell you virtually nothing
> about differences between individuals. This phenomenon is
> sometimes known as the ecological fallacy. If you are
> interested in the differences between states then this is
> not a big deal=2C but if you want to know what is happening
> to individuals ...
> Hope this helps=2C
> Maarten
> --------------------------
> Maarten L. Buis
> Institut fuer Soziologie
> Universitaet Tuebingen
> Wilhelmstrasse 36
> 72074 Tuebingen
> Germany
> --------------------------
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