Working Paper

geoSIMEX: A Generalized Approach To Modeling Spatial Imprecision

Date Published

Apr 1, 2017


Daniel Runfola, Robert Marty, Seth Goodman, Michael Lefew, Ariel BenYishay



Runfola, Daniel et al. 2017. geoSIMEX: A Generalized Approach To Modeling Spatial Imprecision. AidData Working Paper #38. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.


There is a large and growing set of literature examining how different classes of models can integrate information on spatial imprecision in order to more accurately reflect available data. Here, we present a flexible approach - geoSIMEX - which can provide parameter and error estimates while adjusting for spatial imprecision. We illustrate this approach through a case study leveraging a novel, publically available dataset recording the location of Chinese aid in Southeast Asia at varying levels of precision. Using a difference-in-difference modeling approach, we integrate Chinese aid information with satellite derived data on vegetation (NDVI) to examine if Chinese aid has caused an increase or decrease in vegetation. Following multiple approaches which do not incorporate spatial imprecision, we find that Chinese aid had a negative impact on vegetation; once spatial imprecision was incorporated into our estimates through the geoSIMEX procedure no evidence of impact is found.

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