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Description: Separation commonly occurs in political science, usually when a binary ex- planatory variable perfectly predicts a binary outcome. In these situations, methodologists often recommend penalized maximum likelihood or Bayesian estimation. But researchers might struggle to identify an appropriate penalty or prior distribution. Fortunately, I show that researchers can easily test hy- potheses about the model coefficients with standard frequentist tools. While the popular Wald test produces misleading (even nonsensical) p-values under separation, I show that likelihood ratio tests and score tests behave in the usual manner. Therefore, researchers can produce meaningful p-values with standard frequentist tools under separation without the use of penalties or prior information.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

Has supplemental materials for Hypothesis Tests Under Separation on SocArXiv


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