Fixed-Effects Model

The fixed-effects model is a statistical model that is commonly used to estimate the relationship between two variables. It is an approach used to identify causal relationships between an independent variable and a dependent variable, or to measure the impact of certain factors on an outcome. The model is based on the idea that the effects of certain variables can be isolated and estimated, even when those variables are unobserved or difficult to measure. The fixed-effects model is especially useful in the analysis of panel data, which is data collected over multiple points in time and for multiple individuals or entities.

Fixed-effects models estimate the effect of a single factor or group of factors on the outcome of interest. The estimated effect is assumed to be constant over time or across individuals, hence the name “fixed-effects.” This approach is distinct from the random-effects model, which assumes that the effect of the factor of interest may vary across individuals or over time.

In the fixed-effects model, the effect of the independent variable is estimated by controlling for all other variables that may have an influence on the outcome. One way to do this is to use a pooled regression, which pools all of the observations together into one regression equation. Another approach is the within-group regression, which estimates the effect of the independent variable by regressing the data within each group or subgroup.

One advantage of the fixed-effects model is its ability to identify causal relationships. By controlling for the effects of other variables, the model is able to isolate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. This makes it a powerful tool for understanding the factors that influence a particular outcome.

The fixed-effects model has a number of potential limitations. First, it assumes that the effect of the independent variable is constant across individuals or over time. This may not always be the case, so the results of the model should be interpreted with caution. Second, the model requires the data to be balanced, with an equal number of observations for each group or subgroup. If the data are not balanced, the results may be biased. Finally, the model may not be able to accurately estimate the effect of a single variable if there are other factors that are also influencing the outcome.

Despite these potential issues, the fixed-effects model remains a useful and commonly used approach for analyzing panel data and for estimating the effects of certain variables on an outcome.


Baum, C. F. (2006). An introduction to modern econometrics using Stata. College Station, TX: Stata Press.

Heckman, J. J., & Singer, B. (1984). A method for minimizing the impact of distributional assumptions in econometric models for duration data. Econometrica, 52(2), 271-320.

Wooldridge, J. M. (2002). Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Scroll to Top