penppml is an R package that enables users to fit penalized Poisson Pseudo Maximum Likelihood (PPML) regressions with high-dimensional fixed effects (HDFE). Supported penalties in the current version are ridge and lasso. The original application that motivated the development of
penppml was the estimation of three-way gravity models of trade with a large number of PTA provision dummies (Breinlich, Corradi, Rocha, Ruta, Santos Silva and Zylkin, 2021).
To install and load
penppml, you can use the following commands:
penppml package features the
trade data set, which integrates panel data on bilateral trade flows with information about specific provisions in trade agreements for 220 exporters and 270 importers. The provisions included in the package are a subset of 16 out of 305 “essential” provisions featured in the full data set. More information about the data set and the variables is included in the corresponding help file, accessible via
Along with the
trade data set, the package includes an auxiliary data frame,
countries, which contains basic information about the country ISO codes included in the main data set.
|AIA||Anguilla||Americas||Latin America and the Caribbean|
|ATG||Antigua and Barbuda||Americas||Latin America and the Caribbean|
This enables users to easily filter by region or subregion. For instance, if we want to restrict our analysis to countries in the Americas, we can do the following:
<- countries$iso[countries$region %in% c("Americas")] selected <- trade[(trade$exp %in% selected) & (trade$imp %in% selected), -(5:6)] # We remove columns 5 and trade2 # 6 because these variables are not needed in our regressions.
We will show the capabilities of this package using the filtered
trade2 data frame.
The package enables users to run unpenalized PPML regressions with HDFE, using the
hdfeppml function as follows:
<- hdfeppml(data = trade2, reg1 dep = "export", fixed = list(c("exp", "time"), c("imp", "time"), c("exp", "imp"))) #> User did not specify independent variables. By default, the function takes all variables #> not included in 'dep' or 'fixed' as regressors.
As we can see, the function is designed to be data-frame-friendly: the user sets a data frame of reference in the
data argument and then picks the dependent, independent and fixed effect variables either by name or by column number within the provided data frame. Also, note the following points about the syntax:
fixed argument can take either a single vector (just like the
dep argument; each element will be used as a separate fixed effect) or a list of vectors. The latter option is useful in cases where the desired fixed effect is the result of the interaction of two or more variables, as in the gravity model of trade. In those cases, you can specify any number of separate fixed effects in distinct elements of the list and, inside each element, which variables in the data set you want to interact.
As explained in the note, if
indep is empty, the function uses all remaining columns in the data frame by default.
Internally, the function will do the necessary transformations of the columns into vectors and matrices, as needed by the algorithm.
Alternatively, more advanced users who prefer to handle data transformations themselves can use the internal function
hdfeppml_int. For more information and examples on this issue, run
?hdfeppml_int. Note also that this applies to all of the main functions in our package: both the data-frame-friendly wrapper and the internal function are available for use.
The results of our PPML model are:
<- data.frame(prov = rownames(reg1$coefficients), b = reg1$coefficients, se = 0) results $se[!is.na(reg1$coefficients)] <- reg1$se resultsresults
(Note that the functions is automatically dropping perfectly collinear variables from the estimation algorithm and reporting
NA as the coefficient.)
mlfitppml function is a flexible tool for computing penalized PPML regressions with HDFE. For instance, if we want to fit a PPML regression with a lasso penalty for several values of the penalty parameter (lambda) at once, we can run:
<- c(0.05, 0.025, 0.01, 0.0075, 0.005, 0.0025, 0.001, 0.00075, 0.0005, 0.00025, 0.0001, 0) lambdas <- mlfitppml(data = trade2, reg2 dep = "export", fixed = list(c("exp", "time"), c("imp", "time"), c("exp", "imp")), penalty = "lasso", lambdas = lambdas)
The function returns a list that contains two sets of coefficients for each value of lambda: the penalized coefficients (in the
beta_pre element) and the post-penalty or unpenalized coefficients (in the
beta element; these are calculated by estimating a post-penalty regression with just the selected variables). We can plot the regularization path of the penalized coefficients as follows:
<- as.data.frame(reg2$beta_pre) results names(results) <- lambdas $provision <- row.names(results) results<- reshape2::melt(results, id.vars = "provision", variable.name = "lambda", results value.name = "coefficient") $lambda <- as.numeric(as.character(results$lambda)) results ::ggplot(data = results, mapping = ggplot2::aes(x = lambda, y = coefficient, col = provision)) + ggplot2::geom_line(show.legend = FALSE) + ggplot2::scale_x_reverse(expand = ggplot2::expansion(add = c(0, 0.015))) + ggplot2::theme_classic() + ggplot2::geom_dl(ggplot2::aes(label = provision), directlabelsmethod = list(directlabels::dl.trans(x = x + 0.5), "last.bumpup")) + ::labs(x = "Penalty parameter (lambda)", y = "Coefficient", ggplot2title = "Figure 1: Regularization path for lasso")
If the user wishes to obtain the penalized estimates for a single value of lambda, they can either use
mlfitppml as described above (just setting
lambdas == x, where
x is a number) or use the
penhdfeppml function, upon which
mlfitppml is built, directly. For instance:
<- penhdfeppml(data = trade2, reg3 dep = "export", fixed = list(c("exp", "time"), c("imp", "time"), c("exp", "imp")), penalty = "lasso", lambda = 0.005)
We can easily check that the penalized coefficient estimates of
mlfitppml are equal for a lambda value of 0.005 (within a numerical tolerance):
all.equal(as.vector(reg3$beta[!is.na(reg3$beta)]), as.vector(reg2$beta_pre[, 5]), tol = 1e-05) #>  TRUE
For more details on
mlfitppml also allows user to use the ridge penalty in their PPML regressions. Simply run:
<- seq(0.0001, 0, length.out = 10) lambdas <- mlfitppml(data = trade2, reg4 dep = "export", fixed = list(c("exp", "time"), c("imp", "time"), c("exp", "imp")), penalty = "ridge", lambdas = lambdas)
Note that this feature is still in development and may contain bugs.
mlfitppml function enables users to carry out cross-validation of their models via the
IDs arguments. When
xval is set to
TRUE, the function performs cross-validation using a user-provided vector of IDs. For instance, if we want to do k-fold cross validation with k = 20, splitting the data set by agreement (not by observation), we can do the following:
<- unique(trade[(trade$exp %in% selected) & (trade$imp %in% selected), 5]) id <- 20 nfolds <- data.frame(id = id, fold = sample(1:nfolds, size = length(id), replace = TRUE)) unique_ids <- merge(trade[(trade$exp %in% selected) & (trade$imp %in% selected), 5, drop = FALSE], cross_ids by = "id", all.x = TRUE) unique_ids,
Now we activate the cross-validation option in
mlfitppml and input the ID vector:
<- mlfitppml(data = trade2, reg5 dep = "export", fixed = list(c("exp", "time"), c("imp", "time"), c("exp", "imp")), penalty = "lasso", lambdas = c(seq(0.5, 0.1, by = -0.1), 0.05, 0.01, 0.005, 0.001, 0.0005, 0.0001, 0), xval = TRUE, IDs = cross_ids$fold)
Now the function also returns a
rmse element that includes the cross-validation results (the average RMSE or root mean squared error for each value of lambda). Users can employ this tool to choose the value of the penalty parameter that minimizes the RMSE:
In this case, the RMSE criterion suggest that the penalty should be set at 0. In other words, the results in Table 3 are the ones that minimize the mean squared error of the regression, according to 20-fold cross-validation.
This package also enables the use of the plugin lasso method, incorporating coefficient-specific penalty weights calculated automatically by the package. The most convenient way to do this is to set
method = "plugin" in
mlfitppml. Note that the plugin algorithm requires a clustering variable - we are using the interaction of the exporter and importer variables in the
trade data set:
<- mlfitppml(data = trade2, reg6 dep = "export", fixed = list(c("exp", "time"), c("imp", "time"), c("exp", "imp")), penalty = "lasso", method = "plugin", cluster = c("exp", "imp"))
<- data.frame(prov = rownames(reg6$beta), b_pre = reg6$beta_pre, b = reg6$beta, se = 0) results $se[!is.na(reg6$beta)] <- reg6$ses resultsresults
We can see that the plugin lasso is very strict: only two provisions have non-zero coefficients when the penalties are set at the level suggested by the plugin algorithm. Compare this to the cross-validation results, which didn’t remove any of the provisions.
This package also allows users to implement the two-step lasso described in Breinlich et al. (2021). This method consists in, first, running a plugin lasso estimation and second, running individual lasso regressions on each of the variables selected in the first stage. The
iceberg function is designed precisely with this second step in mind. It takes a vector of dependent variables and returns a lasso regression for each one of them:
<- iceberg(data = trade2[, -(1:4)], iceberg_results dep = results$prov[results$b != 0], selectobs = (trade2$time == "2016"))
Currently, the function returns a matrix with coefficient estimates for each of the selected provisions. Support for standard errors (including clustered) is in development as of the current version of the package. The iceberg lasso coefficients are:
Since PPML coefficients can’t be easily interpreted, you may find it useful to see the raw correlations between the variables in the iceberg lasso step:
<- cor(trade2[, results$prov]) provcorr <- provcorr[, results$prov[results$b != 0]])(provcorr
Breinlich, H., Corradi, V., Rocha, N., Ruta, M., Santos Silva, J.M.C. and T. Zylkin, T. (2021). “Machine Learning in International Trade Research: Evaluating the Impact of Trade Agreements”, Policy Research Working Paper; No. 9629. World Bank, Washington, DC.
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