Statistical modelling of network panel data: Goodness of fit



Networks of relationships between individuals influence individual and collective outcomes and are therefore of interest in social psychology, sociology, the health sciences, and other fields. We consider network panel data, a common form of longitudinal network data. In the framework of estimating functions, which includes the method of moments as well as the method of maximum likelihood, we propose score-type tests. The score-type tests share with other score-type tests, including the classic goodness-of-fit test of Pearson, the property that the score-type tests are based on comparing the observed value of a function of the data to values predicted by a model. The score-type tests are most useful in forward model selection and as tests of homogeneity assumptions, and possess substantial computational advantages. We derive one-step estimators which are useful as starting values of parameters in forward model selection and therefore complement the usefulness of the score-type tests. The finite-sample behaviour of the score-type tests is studied by Monte Carlo simulation and compared to t-type tests.