There has existed controversy about the use of marginal and conditional models, particularly in the analysis of data from longitudinal studies. We show that alleged differences in the behavior of parameters in so-called marginal and conditional models are based on a failure to compare like with like. In particular, these seemingly apparent differences are meaningless because they are mainly caused by preimposed unidentifiable constraints on the random effects in models. We discuss the advantages of conditional models over marginal models. We regard the conditional model as fundamental, from which marginal predictions can be made.
Youngjo Lee. John A. Nelder. "Conditional and Marginal Models: Another View." Statist. Sci. 19 (2) 219 - 238, May 2004. https://doi.org/10.1214/088342304000000305