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      The fallacy of the ecological fallacy: the potential misuse of a concept and the consequences.

      1
      American journal of public health
      American Public Health Association

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          Abstract

          Ecological studies have been evaluated in epidemiological contexts in terms of the "ecological fallacy." Although the empirical evidence for a lack of comparability between correlations derived from ecological- and individual-level analyses is compelling, the conceptual meaning of the ecological fallacy remains problematic. This paper argues that issues in cross-level inference can be usefully conceptualized as validity problems, problems not peculiar to ecological-level analyses. Such an approach increases the recognition of both potential inference problems in individual-level studies and the unique contributions of ecological variables. This, in turn, expands the terrain for the location of causes for disease and interventions to improve the public's health.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Am J Public Health
          American journal of public health
          American Public Health Association
          0090-0036
          0090-0036
          May 1994
          : 84
          : 5
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.
          Article
          10.2105/ajph.84.5.819
          1615039
          8179055
          96bd5a9b-386f-40ee-9bb9-447c8021addd

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