Bookmark and Share

Notice: On April 23, 2014, Statalist moved from an email list to a forum, based at

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: st: SAS vs STATA : why is xtlogit SO slow ?

From   Klaus Pforr <>
Subject   Re: st: SAS vs STATA : why is xtlogit SO slow ?
Date   Mon, 06 Feb 2012 01:20:36 +0100


I just noticed, that you didnt even mention your name... Anyways, I think this really boils down to a problem of a too extreme data set. You seem to have about 92000 panel groups (6.5 million / 70), which is a large N. But you also have panel groups with a very large T, namely e.g. this 20000 T panel. Computing effort with FE logit largely depends on this T_i and on the number of events (p. 288 in reference manual pdf). One of the previous posts already already suggested to standardize your independent variables. You also estimated the analysis with a subsample (random?). With both of these dont satisfy you, I think you should simply stick with your SAS results. The SAS code seems to be correct.

How long do you wait for the first likelihood step (the infinite result)?


Am 05.02.2012 20:06, schrieb
Dear Klaus, Joseph,

Many thanks again for your time and help. I use the latest version of
Stata 12 for 64 systems.

I will try to be as precise as possible on the data.

I would like to estimate a fixed effect logit.
The dataset is a panel dataset. I cannot, however, use the time
specification of the panel dataset in Stata because I could have
several observations at the same date for some individuals. In essence
I I could only define the panel nature of my dataset by using the
- xtset ID
The dataset contains about 6.5 million observations.

The output variable Y, is a dummy variable (0/1) which takes value 0
about 30% of the time (no missing values)

I have 3 predictors : one categorical dummy variable DUM and two
continuous CONT1 and CONT2

If I use
- xttab DUM

I obtain the that the within percentage is 97% for DUM=0 and 50% for DUM=0.
Almost every individual in the database has DUM=0 at least one time,
and only 5% approximately of all the individuals show DUM=1 at least
one time.

The continuous variable CONT1 is always positive. CONT2 could be
negative also. Its range is [-1.5, +1.5] approximately.

The mean number of points is 70. However the median is quite low at 10
points per individual.
The minimum number of points is 1, and the maximum if over 20000.

I tried to exclude individuals with less than 10 points, for example,
but the iteration does not converge either.

Here is the simple code I use in Stata in order to get my fixed effect logit

-xtset ID
- xtlogit Y DUM CONT1 CONT2, fe

I also tried
- xtlogit Y DUM CONT1 CONT2, fe from(Dum=* /CONT1=** / CONT2=***)

where * ** *** are the results from the SAS optimization process. Even
in that case the convergence is not attained.

What kind of informations could I provide for you to help me ? I
cannot send the database unfortunately...
Dear Joseph dont get me wrong : I know that Stata is an excellent
software and I am very glad to use such a powerful statistical tool.
Probably there is some strange pattern in my data that makes the
convergence very difficult ? How can I find out?

However SAS 9.3, I dont know why, converged when I use


I obtain :
Newton-Raphson Ridge Optimization
Without Parameter Scaling

The statistics for the Fit of the model :
criterion / Without covariates/ With Covariates
AIC 3930972 3927734
SC 3930972 3927775
-2 Log 3930972  3927728

The Wald, Score and likelihood ratio are<.0001


On 5 February 2012 15:37, Klaus Pforr<>  wrote:


Am 04.02.2012 13:33, schrieb
Hello everyone,

Sorry for the delay.. I had to try your very interesting suggestions
before anything else...

Richard, Clyde, thank you for your interesting comments but the option
from doesnt help... Stata cannot converge :
Iteration 0:   log likelihood =    -1.#INF
Iteration 1:   log likelihood =    -1.#IND
Hessian is not negative semidefinite

Klaus, indeed I try to estimate a Fixed effect logit, not a random
effect. However are you sure that Stata uses the pooled coefficients
from the plain logit estimation?
Indeed if I send the Stata command : logit Y DUM CONT, the computation
takes a few seconds only to converge, but the results are quite
different from the logit fixed effect SAS estimation... One parameter
has the opposite sign for example which probaly means that including
dummies by individual is important.. ;-)
xtlogit.ado with fe-option refers to clogit.ado. You find this in lines
208-248 (in version 2.12.3  11may2010). In line 246 you find the actual
reference to clogit. In the clogit.ado (version 1.6.15  15jul2011) you find
the management of the starting values in lines 269-304. Depending on the
from-options and other stuff, the default is a binary logit (you see it in
line 281) to get the starting values.

But dont get me wrong. Don't use the logit to estimate your results, when
you have reasons to estimate a fixed effects model.

Another thing, that raises doubts for me is your mentioning of inclusion of
dummies by individual. You cannot use this approach for any ml-estimated
fixed effects models because of the incidental parameters problem. The
conditions for the consistency of the ml estimators are not met, if the
coeffiecent vector depends on N, which it does, as you have a constant for
almost any case. That is why you use the complicated conditioanl logit
approach in the first place. Please give us also the command line, that you
gave to Stata, and maybe a glimpse on your data.

By the way I have checked that there is indeed enough variation in the
DUM categorical variable so I do not think the problems are coming
from the variables...

MORE IMPORTANTLY : when I compare SAS's results with STATA on a MUCH
(really much) smaller sample (less than 2000 observations, 146
individuals, 11 points on average per individual) then the results are
exactly the same between the two systems (same point values + standars
errors+ P-values)... thus suggesting that something bad is going on
when STATA try to fit the fixed effect logit model on a larger dataset
So I am puzzled ...

What do you think ?
Thanks again for your help



Klaus Pforr
Universität Mannheim
D - 68131 Mannheim
Tel:  +49-621-181 2797
fax:  +49-621-181 2803

Besucheranschrift: A5, Raum A309

*   For searches and help try:
*   For searches and help try:


Klaus Pforr
Universität Mannheim
D - 68131 Mannheim
Tel:  +49-621-181 2797
fax:  +49-621-181 2803

Besucheranschrift: A5, Raum A309

*   For searches and help try:

© Copyright 1996–2018 StataCorp LLC   |   Terms of use   |   Privacy   |   Contact us   |   Site index