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Visualizing main effects and interactions for binary logit models


  • Michael N. Mitchell

    (UCLA Academic Technology Services)

  • Xiao Chen

    (UCLA Academic Technology Services)


This paper considers the role of covariates when using predicted probabilities to interpret main effects and interactions in logit models. While predicted probabilities are very intuitive for interpreting main effects and interactions, the pattern of results depends on the contribution of covariates. We introduce a concept called the covariate contribution, which reflects the aggregate contribution of all of the remaining predictors (covariates) in the model and a family of tools to help visualize the relationship between predictors and the predicted probabilities across a variety of covariate contributions. We believe this strategy and the accompanying tools can help researchers who wish to use predicted probabilities as an interpretive framework for logit models acquire and present a more comprehensive interpretation of their results. These visualization tools could be extended to other models (such as binary probit, multinomial logistic, ordinal logistic models, and other nonlinear models). Copyright 2005 by StataCorp LP.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael N. Mitchell & Xiao Chen, 2005. "Visualizing main effects and interactions for binary logit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(1), pages 64-82, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsj:stataj:v:5:y:2005:i:1:p:64-82

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
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    8. Michael Fritsch & Moritz Zoellner, 2017. "The Fluidity of Inventor Networks," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    9. Li, Yong & Vertinsky, Ilan B. & Li, Jing, 2014. "National distances, international experience, and venture capital investment performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 471-489.


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