A Copula-Based Closed-Form Binary Logit Choice Model for Accommodating Spatial Correlation Across Observational Units
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This study focuses on accommodating spatial dependency in data indexed by geographic location. In particular, the emphasis is on accommodating spatial error correlation across observational units in binary discrete choice models. We propose a copula-based approach to spatial dependence modeling based on a spatial logit structure rather than a spatial probit structure. In this approach, the dependence between the logistic error terms of different observational units is directly accommodated using a multivariate logistic distribution based on the Farlie-Gumbel-Morgenstein (FGM) copula. The approach represents a simple and powerful technique that results in a closedform analytic expression for the joint probability of choice across observational units, and is straightforward to apply using a standard and direct maximum likelihood inference procedure. There is no simulation machinery involved, leading to substantial computation gains relative to current methods to address spatial correlation. The approach is applied to teenagers' physical activity participation levels, a subject of considerable interest in the public health, transportation, sociology, and adolescence development fields. The results indicate that failing to accommodate heteroscedasticity and spatial correlation can lead to inconsistent and inefficient parameter estimates, as well as incorrect conclusions regarding the elasticity effects of exogenous variables.