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Global least squares path modeling: a full-information alternative to partial least squares path modeling. (English) Zbl 1477.62341

Summary: Partial least squares path modeling has been widely used for component-based structural equation modeling, where constructs are represented by weighted composites or components of observed variables. This approach remains a limited-information method that carries out two separate stages sequentially to estimate parameters (component weights, loadings, and path coefficients), indicating that it has no single optimization criterion for estimating the parameters at once. In general, limited-information methods are known to provide less efficient parameter estimates than full-information ones. To address this enduring issue, we propose a full-information method for partial least squares path modeling, termed global least squares path modeling, where a single least squares criterion is consistently minimized via a simple iterative algorithm to estimate all the parameters simultaneously. We evaluate the relative performance of the proposed method through the analyses of simulated and real data. We also show that from algorithmic perspectives, the proposed method can be seen as a block-wise special case of another full-information method for component-based structural equation modeling – generalized structured component analysis.

MSC:

62P15 Applications of statistics to psychology
62H25 Factor analysis and principal components; correspondence analysis
62H20 Measures of association (correlation, canonical correlation, etc.)
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