The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Ecological Inference

  • Gary King
  • Ori Rosen
  • Martin Tanner
Reference work entry


Ecological inference is a general statistical problem where a response variable is not available at the subject level because summary statistics are reported for groups only. It consists of merging information from different databases which are not linked to each other at the record level. We consider an election scenario where in each electoral precinct the fraction of voting-age people who turn out to vote, the fraction of black population and the number of voting-age people are observed. The proportions of blacks and of whites who vote are unobserved because electoral results and census data are not linked.


Aggregation Ecological inference Likelihood Markov chain Monte Carlo methods Method of bounds Nonparametric models Statistical approaches 

JEL Classifications

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary King
    • 1
  • Ori Rosen
    • 1
  • Martin Tanner
    • 1
  1. 1.