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st: RE: marginal effect

From   Maarten buis <>
To   stata list <>
Subject   st: RE: marginal effect
Date   Mon, 18 Feb 2008 15:45:33 +0000 (GMT)

--- Jason Franken wrote:
> I've seen that you answer many questions on the STATA listserve (but
> I'm not sure how to post my question, so I'm emailing you instead). 

This is discussed here:

> I'm trying to reproduce the marginal effects computed by the mfx (or
> margeff) command by using the nlcom and predictnl commands.  Code
> follows:
> The mfx command says the marginal effect of x1 at mean values of the
> data is 0.09***, whereas the margeff command says that the sample
> average marginal effect of x1 is 0.06***.  Both the nlcom and
> predictnl commands say the marginal effect of x1 at mean values of
> the data is 0.015 and statistically insignificant.  How can I
> reconcile the different results for mfx and predictnl (or nlcom)
> commands (am I using them incorrectly)?

-mfx- and -margeff- do something subtly different different: -mfx-
computes the marginal effects at the mean values of your explanatory
variables, while -margeff- computes the marginal effect for each
individual and than computes the mean of these marginal effects. So
these two commands should yield (slightly) different numbers. 

In the example below, I was able to exactly reproduce the -mfx- with 
-nlcom-, and I could get close (upto 4 digits) with -margeff- (but
maybe Tamas could comment on that). I am also not sure how the standard
errors are calculated in -margeff- (this says nothing about the quality
of -margeff- and everything about my lack of knowledge). 

*-------------------- begin example --------------------
sysuse auto, clear
logit foreign mpg length

tempname mpg length xb

sum mpg
scalar `mpg' = r(mean)

sum length
scalar `length' =r(mean)

local xb "(_b[_cons] + _b[mpg]*`mpg' + _b[length]*`length')"

nlcom (mpg: invlogit(`xb')*invlogit(-1*`xb')*_b[mpg]) ///
      (length: invlogit(`xb')*invlogit(-1*`xb')*_b[length]) 


predict double xb if e(sample), xb
gen double mfx_mpg = invlogit(xb) * invlogit(-xb) * _b[mpg]
gen double mfx_length = invlogit(xb) * invlogit(-xb) * _b[length]

sum mfx*
*------------------------ end example -----------------------------
(For more on how to use examples I sent to the Statalist, see )

Hope this helps,

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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