Suppose you estimate a model using firm-level or state-level data and then apply the estimates at a lower level of aggregation, say at factory-level$^*$ or county-level. If it makes things easier, imagine this is a model describing output of widgets Y given some number of inputs (X and Z).
I would like to know:
- Is there a name for this?
- Is this always a bad idea?
- What if it is not a lower level of aggregation, but merely a different level of aggregation (say model US state data, but use the model on CBSA data, ignoring the fact that not all of the US is in some CBSA)?
I think this is related to external validity and the ecological fallacy, but perhaps there is something more specific.
$^*$Assuming each firm has some number of factories.