A Robust Bootstrap Test for Mediation Analysis

45 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2018

See all articles by Andreas Alfons

Andreas Alfons

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Nufer Ates

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Patrick J. F. Groenen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Date Written: August 3, 2018

Abstract

Mediation analysis is central to theory building and testing in organizations research. Management scholars often use linear regression analysis based on normal-theory maximum likelihood estimators to test mediation. However, these estimators are very sensitive to deviations from normality assumptions, such as outliers or heavy tails of the observed distribution. This sensitivity seriously threatens the empirical testing of theory about mediation mechanisms, as many empirical studies lack reporting of outlier treatments and checks on model assumptions. To overcome this threat, we develop a fast and robust mediation method that yields reliable results even when the data deviate from normality assumptions. Simulation studies show that our method is both superior in estimating the effect size and more reliable in assessing its significance than the existing methods. We illustrate the mechanics of our proposed method in three empirical cases and provide freely available software in R and SPSS to enhance its accessibility and adoption by researchers and practitioners.

Keywords: mediation analysis, robust statistics, linear regression, bootstrap

Suggested Citation

Alfons, Andreas and Ates, Nufer and Groenen, Patrick J. F., A Robust Bootstrap Test for Mediation Analysis (August 3, 2018). ERIM Report Series Reference Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3227731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3227731

Andreas Alfons

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Nufer Ates

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Patrick J. F. Groenen (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
15
Abstract Views
250
PlumX Metrics