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Lang, Stefan
Umlauf, Nikolaus
Wechselberger, Peter
Harttgen, Kenneth
Kneib, Thomas
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Working Papers in Economics and Statistics 2012-07
Models with structured additive predictor provide a very broad and rich framework for complex regression modeling. They can deal simultaneously with nonlinear covariate effects and time trends, unit- or cluster-specific heterogeneity, spatial heterogeneity and complex interactions between covariates of different type. In this paper, we propose a hierarchical or multilevel version of regression models with structured additive predictor where the regression coefficients of a particular nonlinear term may obey another regression model with structured additive predictor. In that sense, the model is composed of a hierarchy of complex structured additive regression models. The proposed model may be regarded as an extended version of a multilevel model with nonlinear covariate terms in every level of the hierarchy. The model framework is also the basis for generalized random slope modeling based on multiplicative random effects. Inference is fully Bayesian and based on Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation techniques. We provide an in depth description of several highly efficient sampling schemes that allow to estimate complex models with several hierarchy levels and a large number of observations within a couple of minutes (often even seconds). We demonstrate the practicability of the approach in a complex application on childhood undernutrition with large sample size and three hierarchy levels.
Bayesian hierarchical models
Markov random fields
multiplicative random effects
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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