R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} are often used to assess the fit of OLS regression
models. Below we show how to estimate the R^{2} and adjusted R^{2}
using the user-written command **mibeta**, as well as how to program these
calculations yourself in Stata. Note that **mibeta** uses the **mi estimate**
command, which was introduced in Stata 11. The
code to calculate the MI estimates of the R^{2} and adjusted R^{2}
can be used with earlier versions of Stata, as well as with Stata 11.
Additionally, the code to calculate R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} “by
hand” allows one to calculate confidence
intervals (based on Harel 2009), while **mibeta** does not.

## Background

Without going into detail, the MI estimate of a parameter (e.g. a regression coefficient) is the average of the estimated coefficients from the MI datasets. The MI estimate of the standard error of a parameter is calculated based on the standard error of the coefficient in the individual imputations (sometimes called the within imputation variance) and the degree to which the coefficient estimates vary across the imputations (the between imputation variance). For more information on multiple imputation, see the “See also” section at the bottom of the page.

R^{2} is (among other things) the squared correlation (denoted r) between the observed and expect values of the
dependent variable, in equation form: r = sqrt(R^{2}). As mentioned
above, the MI estimate of a parameter is typically the mean value across the
imputations, and this method can be used to estimate the R^{2} for an MI model.
However, because of the way values of R^{2} are distributed, directly
averaging the values may not be the most appropriate method of calculating the
central tendency (i.e. mean) of the distribution. It is possible to transform
correlation coefficients so that the mean becomes a more reasonable estimate of
central tendency. The **mibeta** command allows
you to use either the values of R^{2} directly, or a transformation to calculate the MI estimate of R^{2}.
The code to estimate the R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} “by hand”
shows how to calculate these values using a transformation, but can be modified
to calculate the values without the transformation.

Harel (2009) suggests using Fisher’s r to z transformation when calculating
MI estimates of R^{2} and adjusted R^{2}.
Harel’s method is to first
estimate the model and calculate the R^{2} and/or adjusted R^{2}
in each of the imputed datasets. Each model R^{2}
is then transformed into a correlation (r) by taking its square-root. Fisher’s r
to z transformation is then used to transform each of the r values into a z
value. The average z across the imputations can then be calculated. Finally,
the mean of the z values is transformed back into an R^{2}. The same
procedure can be used for adjusted R^{2} values. A few things
should be noted about this procedure. First, Harel writes that the technique works best when the number of
imputations is large. Harel also notes that as with any number of
statistical procedures, this method works best in large samples. Finally, the
results of a simulation study (presented in Harel 2009), suggest that
the resulting estimates of R^{2} tend to be biased upwards (i.e. are too large), while estimates of adjusted R^{2}
tend to be biased downwards (i.e. are too small). Because both estimates tend to
be biased, but in opposite directions, calculating the MI estimate for both R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} may be useful.

## Fisher’s r to z

You may be curious about how the r to z transformation is calculated. Transforming r (i.e. a correlation) to z is a fairly simple process. The value z is the inverse hyperbolic tangent of r, this value can also be written as the following expression:

Stata’s **atanh(**…**)** function can be used to perform this
transformation. The variance of z can also be estimated, this variance is
later used in the calculation of a confidence interval for the MI estimate of R^{2}.
The formula for the variance of z is simple (note that it depends only on n,
i.e. sample size):

To reverse the r to z transformation, we can find the hyperbolic tangent of z, which can also be written as:

Stata’s **tanh(**…**)** function can be used to reverse the transformation.

## MI estimates of R^{2} using mibeta

In order to use the **mibeta** command, you must first download the
necessary files. You can locate **mibeta** using the command **search mibeta**
.
For more information on installing user-written packages in Stata see our
FAQ: How do I use the search
command to search for programs and additional help? .

Below we open the dataset we will use for this example. You can download the dataset here: **mvn_imputation** or simply use the command below. The dataset has been **mi set** so that it
will work with Stata’s built in mi commands (introduced in version 11), but we can use
**mi set**
(without any arguments) to confirm that the data has been **mi set**. The
output confirms that the data has been **mi set** and that there are 5
imputations.

use https://stats.idre.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mvn_imputation, clearmi setflong, M = 5

For our model, we will predict the variable **read**, using **write**
and **math**. Below we use **mibeta** to estimate the regression model
along with the estimates of the R^{2} and the adjusted
R^{2} using the MI data. Remember that you have to install the mibeta package first! As is typical for regression commands in Stata, the syntax for **mibeta** is simply the command
name followed by the outcome variable (**read**) and
the predictor variables (**write** and **math**). Note that we do not specify **regress**, this is assumed.

mibeta read write mathMultiple-imputation estimates Imputations = 5 Linear regression Number of obs = 200 Average RVI = 0.0827 Complete DF = 197 DF adjustment: Small sample DF: min = 92.88 avg = 134.23 max = 177.77 Model F test: Equal FMI F( 2, 119.8) = 84.86 Within VCE type: OLS Prob > F = 0.0000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ read | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval] -------------+---------------------------------------------------------------- write | .3754693 .0738669 5.08 0.000 .2293537 .5215849 math | .4739484 .0723394 6.55 0.000 .3311939 .616703 _cons | 7.3371 3.597566 2.04 0.044 .1929292 14.48127 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Standardized coefficients and R-squared Summary statistics over 5 imputations | mean min p25 median p75 max -------------+---------------------------------------------------------------- write | .343877 .328 .3339322 .3446888 .3516272 .361 math | .4310601 .421 .4231636 .4264212 .4272021 .458 -------------+---------------------------------------------------------------- R-square | .4855069 .454 .4837243 .4907281 .4964925 .503 Adj R-square | .4802836 .448 .4784829 .4855579 .4913808 .498 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first part of the output produced by **mibeta** is the imputation
information and table of estimates produced by **mi estimate**. This is the
same output that would have been produced if we used the
command **mi estimate: regress
read write math** . The second table includes information on standardized
coefficients for write and math, as well as the R^{2} and adjusted R^{2}.
The table includes mean, minimum, maximum, and the quartiles of the distribution for each of
these values across the imputed datasets. For example, the average R^{2} (i.e. the MI estimate) is .49, the lowest
R^{2} from the 5 imputed datasets was .45 and the highest was .50.

As discussed above, it may make more sense to transform R^{2} values before estimating
their mean, and then back transform in order to get interpretable values. We can use the **mibeta**
command to estimate the mean of the R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} (as well as
the standardized coefficients) using Fisher’s r to z transformation with the **fisherz** option as shown below.
Note that only the means will be different from the output above, because the
transformation does not change the order of the values.

mibeta read write math, fisherzMultiple-imputation estimates Imputations = 5 Linear regression Number of obs = 200 Average RVI = 0.0827 Complete DF = 197 DF adjustment: Small sample DF: min = 92.88 avg = 134.23 max = 177.77 Model F test: Equal FMI F( 2, 119.8) = 84.86 Within VCE type: OLS Prob > F = 0.0000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ read | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval] -------------+---------------------------------------------------------------- write | .3754693 .0738669 5.08 0.000 .2293537 .5215849 math | .4739484 .0723394 6.55 0.000 .3311939 .616703 _cons | 7.3371 3.597566 2.04 0.044 .1929292 14.48127 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Standardized coefficients and R-squared Summary statistics over 5 imputations | mean* min p25 median p75 max -------------+---------------------------------------------------------------- write | .3439318 .328 .3339322 .3446888 .3516272 .361 math | .4311597 .421 .4231636 .4264212 .4272021 .458 -------------+---------------------------------------------------------------- R-square | .485636 .454 .4837243 .4907281 .4964925 .503 Adj R-square | .4804108 .448 .4784829 .4855579 .4913808 .498 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ * based on Fisher's z transformation

## Calculating MI estimates of R^{2} “by hand”

Below we show how to perform the calculations done by **mibeta** using
Stata syntax. As mentioned above, this method does not require access to the
suite of mi commands introduced in Stata 11. This method also has the advantage
of allowing for the calculation of confidence intervals.

We will discuss the code to calculate the MI estimate of R^{2} in
pieces, then the entire block of syntax is given at the end of the page so that
you can easily transfer it to a .do file and run all of the code at once. Note
that because the code uses local macros, all of the code except opening the
dataset and using the **mi set** command must be run at the same time. For clarity the syntax
presented
step by step shows the process using only R^{2}, however, the code shown at the bottom
includes calculations for both the R^{2} and adjusted R^{2}.

First, let’s open the dataset. The dataset has been **mi set** to work
with Stata’s built in mi commands (introduced in version 11), but we can use **
mi set** (without any arguments) to confirm that the data is formatted the way
I think it is. It is important to know how the data is formatted because in order for the syntax below to work properly, the dataset must be
stored in what Stata calls the flong style, this is essentially the same format used by **
mim** and produced by **ice**. The output from **mi set** confirms that
the data is formatted for Stata’s mi commands, is stored in the flong style, and
that number of imputations is equal to 5. If the dataset was **mi set**, but
not in the flong style, we could use the command **mi convert flong** to
convert it to the flong style.

use https://stats.idre.ucla.edu/stat/stata/seminars/missing_data/mvn_imputation, clear miset flong, M = 5

The first line of syntax below creates a local macro that contains
the name of the variable that identifies the imputation number. You can think of
a local macro as a placeholder for another piece of information, later we will
type **`mid’** and Stata will interpret this to mean **_mi_m** . You may need to
change the variable name depending on how your dataset is formatted. If the data has been
**mi set**, the variable **_mi_m**
identifies the imputations, if the variable is formatted for **mim**, or was
imputed by **ice**, the imputation number is probably stored in the variable
**_mj**. The second line creates a scalar, another type of placeholder, that
contains the number of imputations, in this case, 5.
The next line uses **generate** to create a new variable, **r2**, this will be used to store the R^{2} from each of the MI datasets. You can modify this
line by
changing the variable name or by removing it entirely (in which case the
values from individual MI datasets won’t be stored, but everything else will
work the same way). If you chose to do either, you must also modify the some of
the syntax below
to reflect these changes (this will be noted as we go along). The final two lines create
an M by 1
vector
(**mz**) that will be used to store the transformed values of R^{2} so that we can make use of them.

local mid = "_mi_m" scalar M = 5 gen r2 = . matrix mz = J(M,1,0)

The block of syntax below runs the regression model once in each of the
imputations, and saves the information necessary to calculate the MI estimate of the R^{2}. In the first line of syntax, the **forvalues** command tells Stata that the commands between the curved
brackets (i.e. { and } ) should be
repeated once for the values one to M (i.e. **1/`=M’**). Because we defined M
as a scalar above (equal to 5), Stata will interpret **`=M’** as being 5, so the loop will
repeat for the values 1 to 5. Note that the two symbols that surround M are
different, the first (i.e. ` ) is on the same key as the tilde (i.e. ~), and the
character following M (i.e. ‘ ) is an apostrophe, sometimes called a single
quote. Each time the commands within the loop are repeated, the local macro **m**
takes on a new value (by default, whole number values are used, i.e. 1,
2,…,5).

Looking at the syntax within the brackets, the first line contains the model we wish to estimate.
The **quietly:** prefix tells Stata to estimate the model, without displaying
the output. The command name, **regress**, is followed by
the name of the outcome variable, and then the list of predictor variables. The
**if(**…**)** tells Stata to estimate the model for one imputation at a
time, using the local macro **mid** we defined above (i.e. the name of
variable that indexes the imputations), as well as the local macro **m**. You can
change the model to reflect your analysis, and you can omit the **quietly:** prefix, but the **if(**…**)**
must remain (although you could add to it if necessary). When Stata estimates
the regression model, it temporarily stores information from the model,
including the model R^{2} which is stored as **e(r2)**.
The next line performs the r to z transformation on **e(r2) ** (i.e. **atanh(sqrt(e(r2))) **
), and saves the value in the appropriate row of the matrix **mz**. The
final
line saves the value of the R^{2} from the model in the variable **r2**. If you are not creating this variable, you should
delete this command.

forvalues m = 1/`=M' { quietly: regress read write math if(`mid'==`m') matrix mz[`m',1] = atanh(sqrt(e(r2))) replace r2 = e(r2) in `m' }

Now the matrix **mz** contains the z values (i.e. the transformed R^{2} values) from each of the imputed datasets. We will use Stata’s
matrix language, Mata, to perform some of the calculations necessary to generate
the MI estimates of R^{2} and its confidence interval. The first step is to
pass the scalar containing the number of imputations (i.e. M), and the matrix containing the R^{2} values (i.e. **mz**) to
Mata. The **st_numscalar(**…**)**, and **st_matrix(**…**)**
commands allow us to pass information from Stata to Mata, and vice versa.

mata: M = st_numscalar("M") mata: z = st_matrix("mz")

Above we used **st_numscalar(**…**)** to pass information from Stata
to Mata, in the syntax below we use it to pass information from Mata to Stata. Below we place
the mean of **z** (i.e. the mean of the z values) in the scalar value **Q**.
**Q** now holds the MI estimate of z, which we will later transform back into to the MI estimate of R^{2}.

mata: st_numscalar("Q", mean(z))

In the first line below we use Mata to estimate the between imputation variance
based on the standard formulas for MI, this value is denoted **b**. The
between imputation variance is used in the calculation of the
confidence intervals. The second line below uses **st_numscalar** to pass **
b**
from Mata to Stata, note that in Stata we have named the scalar **B**, rather than **b**.

mata: b = sum((z :- mean(z)):^2)/(M-1) mata: st_numscalar("B" , b )

As mentioned above the variance of z is based only on n, this
results in a within imputation variance that is constant (1/(n-3)). The within
and between variances are combined to form **V**, the MI estimate of the
variance of z. The first line below uses the sample size (stored **e(N)**),
the between imputation variance (stored in **B**), and the number of
imputations (stored in **M**) to calculate the total variance of z. The following two lines, use the MI estimate of z (i.e. **
Q**), along with the estimate of **V**, to calculate the upper and lower
95% confidence limits for z.

scalar def V = 1/(e(N)-3) + B/(M+1) scalar def uci = Q + 1.959964*sqrt(V*Q) scalar def lci = Q - 1.959964*sqrt(V*Q)

The first line of syntax below begins with the display command, followed by some text to
display, and the expression (**(tanh(r2z/`M’))^2)**. This expression
reverses the r to z transformation, and squares r to give the estimated R^{2}.
The second line does the same for the upper and lower confidence limits.

di "Average R-squared = " (tanh(Q))^2Average R-squared = .48563602di "95% CI [" tanh(lci)^2 "," tanh(uci)^2 "]" _n95% CI [.38278305,.57971497]

If you stored the values of the R^{2} from
each imputation as variables in the dataset, you can **sort** by the variable **r2**, and then
**list**
the non-missing values of **r2** and **r2_a**. This allows you to see the
range of values for R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} across the imputations.

sort r2 list r2 if r2!=.+----------+ | r2 | |----------| 1. | .4536123 | 2. | .4837243 | 3. | .4907281 | 4. | .4964925 | 5. | .5029773 | +----------+

Below is syntax to compute the MI estimate and its confidence interval in a single block. Note that unlike the above
example, this syntax estimates both the R^{2} and the adjusted
R^{2}. As discussed above, it may be useful to calculate MI estimates for both the R^{2}
and adjusted R^{2} because R^{2} tends to be biased upwards
while the adjusted R^{2} tends to be biased downward. The estimate of the adjusted R^{2}
for each regression model is stored
by Stata as
**e(r2_a)** and all subsequent values related to the adjusted R^{2} have the
same name as for the R^{2} with the suffix _a (e.g. the variables **r2**
and **r2_a**).

use https://stats.idre.ucla.edu/stat/stata/seminars/missing_data/mvn_imputation, clear mi set * EDIT: Depending on the dataset format, _mi_m may need to be replaced with _mj (ice/mim) * or some other variable name. M should be set to equal to the number of imputations. local mid = "_mi_m" scalar M = 5 * generate variables to save the R^2 and adjusted R^2 from each imputation in a variable * this is optional, but if you remove this or change the variable names, * you will also need to edit more below. gen r2 = . gen r2_a = . * create vectors matrix mz = J(M,1,0) matrix mz_a = J(M,1,0) forvalues m = 1/`=M' { * EDIT: Define your model here, the command must include the if quietly: reg read write math if(`mid'==`m') * write resulting z values to the matrix matrix mz[`m',1] = atanh(sqrt(e(r2))) matrix mz_a[`m',1] = atanh(sqrt(e(r2_a))) * save the value of R^2 and the adjusted R^2 (optional, may require editing) replace r2 = e(r2) in `m' replace r2_a = e(r2_a) in `m' } * Pass information to Mata mata: M = st_numscalar("M") mata: z = st_matrix("mz") mata: z_a = st_matrix("mz_a") * MI estimate of z (i.e. mean of z) mata: st_numscalar("Q", mean(z)) mata: st_numscalar("Q_a", mean(z_a)) * Calculate the between variance * R^2 mata: B = sum((z :- mean(z)):^2)/(M-1) mata: st_numscalar("B" , B ) * Adjusted R^2 mata: B_a = sum((z_a :- mean(z_a)):^2)/(M-1) mata: st_numscalar("B_a" , B_a ) * Total variance (V). Note the within variance only needs to be calculated once * because the n should be constant (w = 1/(n-3)) scalar def V = 1/(e(N)-3) + B/(`M'+1) scalar def V_a = 1/(e(N)-3) + B_a/(`M'+1) * CIs for z scale * CI Q +/- z*sqrt(V*Q) scalar def uci = Q + 1.959964*sqrt(V*Q) scalar def lci = Q - 1.959964*sqrt(V*Q) scalar def uci_a = Q_a + 1.959964*sqrt(V_a*Q_a) scalar def lci_a = Q_a - 1.959964*sqrt(V_a*Q_a) * display results di "Average R-squared = " (tanh(Q))^2 di "95% CI [" tanh(lci)^2 "," tanh(uci)^2 "]" _n di "Average Adjusted R-squared = " (tanh(Q_a))^2 di "95% CI [" tanh(lci_a)^2 "," tanh(uci_a)^2 "]" * if you have created variables with R^2 from each imputation (optional) sort r2 list r2 r2_a if r2!=.

## See also

- Missing Data: A Gentle Introduction by McKnight, McKnight, Sidani, and Figueredo (2007).
- Statistical Analysis with Missing Data, Second Edition by Little and Rubin (2002).
- Multiple Imputation in Stata Seminar

## Citations

Harel, O. (2009). The estimation of R^{2} and adjusted R^{2} in incomplete data sets using
multiple imputation. *Journal of Applied Statistics*, 36(10), 1109-1118.