Practical and Effective Approaches to Dealing with Clustered Data

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Authors Justin Esarey, Andrew Menger
Journal/Conference Name Political Science Research and Methods
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Cluster-robust standard errors (as implemented by the eponymous cluster option in Stata) can produce misleading inferences when the number of clusters G is small, even if the model is consistent and there are many observations in each cluster. Nevertheless, political scientists commonly employ this method in data sets with few clusters. The contributions of this paper are: (a) developing new and easy-to-use Stata and R packages that implement alternative uncertainty measures robust to small G, and (b) explaining and providing evidence for the advantages of these alternatives, especially cluster-adjusted t-statistics based on Ibragimov and Müller (2010). To illustrate these advantages, we reanalyze recent work by Grosser, Reuben and Tymula (2013), Lacina (2014), and Hainmueller, Hiscox and Sequeira (2015) whose results are based on cluster-robust standard errors.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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