Using Heterogeneous Choice Models to Compare Logit and Probit Coefficients Across Groups

Richard Williams Using Heterogeneous Choice Models to Compare Logit and Probit Coefficients Across Groups  Sociological Methods & Research 2009 37: 531-559.

Allison (1999) notes that comparisons of logit and probit coefficients across groups can be invalid and misleading, proposes a procedure by which these problems can be corrected, and argues that “routine use [of this method] seems advisable” and that “it is hard to see how [the method] can be improved.” In this article, the author argues that as originally proposed, Allison’s method can have serious problems and should not be applied on a routine basis. However, this study also shows that his model belongs to a larger class of models variously known as heterogeneous choice or location-scale models. Several advantages of this broader and more flexible class of models are illustrated. Dependent variables can be ordinal in addition to binary, sources of heterogeneity can be better modeled and controlled for, and insights can be gained into the effects of group characteristics on outcomes that would be missed by other methods.

Key Words: heterogeneous choice models • location-scale models • ordinal regression • logit • probit

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