Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Diff-n-Diff of estimates from Structural Equation Models (SEM)

Structural equation modeling (SEM) is generally the practice of estimating latent factor(s) from observable measures.  It is similar to factor analysis in that it typically reduces a problem with potentially many dependent variables to a lower dimension which we hope is interpretable.

Let’s imagine a relatively simple model where this might be useful.  We have five responses which are measures of 2 latent traits we are interested in.  For half of our sample we administer an intervention with the hopes that it will increase our latent traits.  We administer a pretest measuring the 5 observables before the treatment and a posttest after measuring the 5 observables after.

Stata Code
set obs 4000

gen id = _n

gen eta1 = rnormal()
gen eta2 = rnormal()

 * Generate 5 irrelevant factors that might affect each of the 
 * different responses on the pretest 
gen f1 = rnormal()
gen f2 = rnormal()
gen f3 = rnormal()
gen f4 = rnormal()
gen f5 = rnormal()

 * Now let's apply the treatment 
expand 2, gen(t)   // double our data 

gen treat=0
replace treat=1 if ((id<=_N/4)&(t==1))

 * Now let's generate our changes in etas 
replace eta1 = eta1 + treat*1 + t*.5
replace eta2 = eta2 + treat*.5 + t*1

 * Finally we generate out pre and post test responses 
gen v1 = f1*.8  + eta1*1  + eta2*.4   // eta1 has more loading on 
gen v2 = f2*1.5 + eta1*1  + eta2*.3   // the first few questions 
gen v3 = f3*2   + eta1*1  + eta2*1  
gen v4 = f4*1   + eta1*.2 + eta2*1   // eta2 has more loading on 
gen v5 = f5*1   +           eta2*1   // the last few questions 

 * END Simulation 
 * Begin Estimation 

sem (L1 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) (L2 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) if t==0
predict L1 L2, latent

sem (L1 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) (L2 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) if t==1
predict L12 L22, latent

replace  L1 = L12 if t==1
replace  L2 = L22 if t==1

 * Now let's see if our latent predicted factors are correlated with our true factors. 
corr eta1 eta2 L1 L2

 * We can see already that we are having problems.   
 * I am no expert on SEM so I don't really know what is going wrong except 
 * that eta1 is reasonably highly correlated with L1 and L2 and 
 * eta2 is less highly correlated with L1 and L2 equally each 
 * individually, which is not what we want. 

 * Well too late to stop now.  Let's do our diff in diff estimation. 
 * In this case we can easily accomplish it by generating one more variable. 

 * Let's do a seemingly unrelated regression form to make a single joint estimator. 

sureg (L1 t id treat) (L2 t id treat)

 * Now we have estimated the effect of the treatment given a control for the 
 * time effect and individual differences.  Can we be sure of our results? 
 * Not quite.  We are treating L1 and L2 like observed varaibles rather than 
 * random variables we estimated.  We need to adjust out standard errors to 
 * take this into account.  The easiest way though computationally intensive is 
 * to use a bootstrap routine. 

 * This is how it is done.  Same as above but we will use temporary variables. 
cap program drop SEMdnd
program define SEMdnd

  tempvar L1 L2 L12 L22
  sem (L1 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) (L2 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) if t==0
  predict `L1' `L2', latent
  sem (L1 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) (L2 -> v1 v2 v3 v4 v5) if t==1
  predict `L12' `L22', latent

  replace  `L1' = `L12' if t==1
  replace  `L2' = `L22' if t==1

  sureg (`L1' t id treat) (`L2' t id treat)

  drop `L1' `L2' `L12' `L22'


SEMdnd   // Looking good 

 * This should do it though I don't hae the machine time available to wait 
 * for it to finish. 
bs , rep(200) cluster(id): SEMdnd 

Formatted By EconometricsbySimulation.com

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