I'm analyzing a data base from an ecological study and I'd like to read a good reference book about this kind of studies as there are some limitations concerning their analysis; for example, they are susceptible to ecological fallacy.

  • $\begingroup$ Some more details about your particular study might help gathering precise and helpful answers. $\endgroup$
    – chl
    Jan 26, 2012 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ We want to study the rate of death by different kind of cancer in nearby cities. We have the data grouped by cities. $\endgroup$
    – Ivana
    Jan 26, 2012 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


I don't know that there is necessarily a book on ecological studies, but there are some decent articles written about it. I'd consider starting with the January 2012 issue of Epidemiology, Vol. 23 No. 1. The reason for this is two articles:

Radon and Skin Cancer in Southwest England: An Ecologic Study by B. Wheeler et al. Commentary: A Niche for Ecologic Studies in Environmental Epidemiology by D. Savitz

The reason for this is as follows: The first is an actual ecologic study, on your area of interest, that was good enough to make it into one of the best epidemiology journals published. If you're going to do an ecologic study, there are far worse templates to work off of. The second is a commentary on that study, outlining when and where ecologic studies have a place to contribute to the literature, and where their drawbacks overwhelm their utility.

There's also a chapter on ecologic studies in Modern Epidemiology 3rd Edition by Rothman, Greenland and Lash. This is one of the definitive reference books for the entire field, and if you're conducting any type of epidemiological study, a reference you should own.

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    $\begingroup$ There is also a series of articles in the International Journal of Epidemiology in response to Robinson's original article (see the related articles). $\endgroup$
    – Andy W
    Jan 26, 2012 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ I also give a (too long!) list of references from more sociological sources in this answer. And just to add more to that list I would also suggest, Henri Theil's Linear aggregation of economic relations is the only book I know of solely devoted to the topic (although I think some of the articles from the American Sociological Review in that other answer are easier to digest). $\endgroup$
    – Andy W
    Jan 26, 2012 at 13:43

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