Date of Original Version

1995

Type

Technical Report

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Abstract: "The Gibbs sampler can be used to obtain samples of arbitrary size from the posterior distribution over the parameters of a structural equation model given covariance data and a prior distribution over the parameters. Point estimates, standard deviations and interval estimates for the parameters can be computed from these samples. If the prior distribution over the parameters is uninformative, the posterior is proportional to the likelihood, and asymptotically the inferences based on the Gibbs sample are the same as those based on the maximum likelihood solution, e.g., output from LISREL or EQS. In small samples, however, the likelihood surface is not multivariate normal and in some cases not even unimodal. Nevertheless, the Gibbs sampler draws a sample from the true posterior distribution over the parameters regardless of the sample size and the shape of the likelihood surface. With an informative prior distribution over the parameters, it can be used to estimate underidentified models, as we illustrate on a simple errors-in-variables model."

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