Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


When Two Are Better Than One: Fitting Two-Part Models Using SAS


Statistics Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


In many situations, an outcome of interest has a large number of zero outcomes and a group of nonzero outcomes that are discrete or highly skewed. For example, in modeling health care costs, some patients have zero costs, and the distribution of positive costs are often extremely right-skewed. When modeling charitable donations, many potential donors give nothing, and the majority of donations are relatively small with a few very large donors. In the analysis of count data, there are also times where there are more zeros than would be expected using standard methodology, or cases where the zeros might differ substantially than the non-zeros, such as number of cavities a patient has at a dentist appointment or number of children born to a mother. If data has such structure, and ordinary least squares methods are used, then predictions and estimation might be inaccurate. The two-part model gives us a flexible and useful modeling framework in many situations. Methods for fitting the models with SAS® software are illustrated.

Conference Name

SAS Global World Forum

Conference Location

Dallas, TX

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