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Re: st: Multinomial transition model with unobserved heterogeneity

From   Mike Lacy <>
Subject   Re: st: Multinomial transition model with unobserved heterogeneity
Date   Sat, 29 Nov 2008 15:18:50 -0700

>Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 19:30:16 +0100
>From: "Kristian Karlson" <>
>Subject: st: Multinomial transition model with unobserved heterogeneity
>Dear expert users,
>Does anyone have suggestions about how to estimate a multinomial
>transition model with unobserved heterogeneity (captured by latent
>classes) for educational transitions in a multitier system? The first
>choice is among three educational tracks (in secondary education), and
>the second choice--contingent on a specific first choice¬¬?is among
>four tracks (in higher education). Maybe someone out there are
>familiar with this model and have tried to estimate it in Stata.
>A similar model can be found in Breen & Jonsson 2000: "Analyzing
>Educational Careers: A Multinomial Transition Model", American
>Sociological Review, vol. 65 no. 5. Breen & Jonsson, however, estimate
>the model in LEM, but this is not an option for me (because of server
>software limitations).

What you describe sounds like an application for a nested logit model, with one equation to model the first level of choice, and another to model the second level. For an application in the context of transition data analysis (event history), see:

Competing Hazards with Shared Unmeasured Risk Factors
Daniel H. Hill; William G. Axinn; Arland Thornton
Sociological Methodology, Vol. 23. (1993), pp. 245-277.

If I remember correctly, what this article describes as "Shared Unmeasured Risk Factors" is the same as "unobserved heterogeneity." The solution is not via latent classes, but I suspect it gives similar results. I have tried to apply this in a situation similar to yours, and I would think it could work for you. Let's hope someone with deeper knowledge than me will chime in here to offer some more insight.


Mike Lacy
Fort Collins CO USA
(970) 491-6721 office

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