# Acceptable values for variance, aic and bic in multilevel models

I'm building a multilevel model from a sample of 820 observations at level 1 and 11 groups (level 2). I'm using stata xtmixed.

Running the empty model (including just the dependent variable) I get:

• variance at level 1 (residual) = 0.6
• variance at level 2 (_cons): 0.03
• So the Intraclass correlation coefficient is 5%
• AIC: 1860
• BIC: 1875

Are my absolute values of variance too small? Too close to zero? Is there a recommended threshold given the sample size? From my previous question I learnt that having a very low ICC is ok.

Are AIC or BIC values too high, considering the sample size and the variance values? I mean, is there a rule that given around 800 observations tells me which should be an appropriate starting value for AIC/BIC?

• If you don't like those variances multiple all of your data by 1000. You can then see what it does to your AIC as well. – John Nov 28 '14 at 18:10