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Friday, March 14, 2014

How do I conduct a robust path analysis?

What if a researcher has only one measure for each latent variable, and still wants to perform a “robust” analysis where no parametric assumptions (e.g., univariate or multivariate normality) are made beforehand?

This would call for a new robust multivariate analysis approach – a robust path analysis. In it, the variables in the structural model would not be “latent”, and thus other assessments would have to be performed in place of a confirmatory factor analysis.

An article illustrating a robust path analysis with WarpPLS is available. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first published article employing this type of analysis. The full reference, link to full text PDF file, and abstract for the article are available below.

Kock, N., & Gaskins, L. (2014). The mediating role of voice and accountability in the relationship between Internet diffusion and government corruption in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Information Technology for Development, 20(1), 23-43.

PDF file:

We examine relationships among Internet diffusion, voice and accountability, and government corruption based on data from 24 Latin American and 23 sub-Saharan African countries from 2006 to 2010. Our study suggests that greater levels of Internet diffusion are associated with greater levels of voice and accountability and that greater levels of voice and accountability are associated with lower levels of government corruption. Also, there seems to be an overall relationship between Internet diffusion and government corruption, which is primarily indirect and mediated by voice and accountability. Our study builds on modernization theory, and employs the method of robust path analysis, implemented through the software WarpPLS. Policy-makers in developing countries aiming at increasing voice and accountability at the national level, and thus the degree to which their citizens participate in the country’s governance, should strongly consider initiatives that broaden Internet access in their countries.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ned,

I am wondering about the terminology to use here. Are such variables still 'latent', given they have one measure? What if in the case of models where multiple indicator LVs are used alongside single-indicator ones?


Ned Kock said...

The approach employed in this paper is primarily for use with single-indicator variables that are presumably measured without error (usually taken from databases).