The Rasch model is one of the most prominent item response models. In this article, different item parameter estimation methods for the Rasch model are systematically compared through a comprehensive simulation study: Different alternatives of joint maximum likelihood (JML) estimation, different alternatives of marginal maximum likelihood (MML) estimation, conditional maximum likelihood (CML) estimation, and several limited information methods (LIM). The type of ability distribution (i.e., nonnormality), the number of items, sample size, and the distribution of item difficulties were systematically varied. Across different simulation conditions, MML methods with flexible distributional specifications can be at least as efficient as CML. Moreover, in many situations (i.e., for long tests), penalized JML and JML with ε adjustment resulted in very efficient estimates and might be considered alternatives to JML implementations currently used in statistical software. Moreover, minimum chi-square (MINCHI) estimation was the best-performing LIM method. These findings demonstrate that JML estimation and LIM can still prove helpful in applied research.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)814-836
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2021
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    Research areas

  • Methodological research and method development - Rasch model, estimation methods, nonnormality

ID: 1696700