Unobserved heterogeneity is a serious but often neglected problem in structural equation modelling (SEM) challenging the validity of many empirical results. Recently, a finite mixture approach to SEM has been proposed to resolve this problem but until now only a few studies analyse the performance of the relevant software. The contribution of this paper is twofold: First, results from a Monte Carlo study into the properties of the program system MECOSA are presented. Second, an empirical application to data from a large-scale consumer survey in the fast moving consumer goods industry is described.
Monte Carlo simulation Structural equation modelling Unobserved heterogeneity Model-based clustering Finite mixtures