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Re: st: Best method for imputing dichotomous variables

From   Maarten buis <>
Subject   Re: st: Best method for imputing dichotomous variables
Date   Thu, 14 Feb 2008 09:43:50 +0000 (GMT)

--- René Wevers <> wrote:
> If I want to impute missing values of dichotomous (dummy) variables,
> what is the best method to apply? The -ice- command here seems to be
> a bad option, since running this command has shown to provide
> unreliable results.

What is the basis for that statement? The software comparisons I have
seen (Horton & Kleinman 2007, Yu et el. 2007) do not show -ice- to be 
unreliable. The weird results you mentioned yesterday are most likely
the result of a problem with your data, and not with -ice-. I would
strongly recommend working harder with -ice-, because, as far as I
know, it is the only Stata multiple imputation package that has been
independently reviewed. 

Any real imputation project, whatwever software you use, will take a
lot of time (don't think days, think weeks) because it will involve
making a lot of mistakes, consequently a lot of puzzeling results, and
a lot of checking, before you can be moderately convidend that you have
done something reasonable. That is the nature of multiple imputation,
not the nature of -ice- or any other program.

Sorry for not being more cheerful,

Horton, Nicholas J.  and Ken P. Kleinman (2007) "Much ado about
nothing: A comparison of missing data methods and software to fit
incomplete data regression models" The American Statistician, 61(1):

Yu, L.-M. , Andrea Burton and Oliver Rivero-Arias (2007) "Evaluation of
software for multiple imputation of semi-continuous data" Statistical
Methods in Medical Research, 16: 243-258.

Maarten L. Buis
Department of Social Research Methodology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Boelelaan 1081
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

visiting address:
Buitenveldertselaan 3 (Metropolitan), room Z434

+31 20 5986715

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