How to Calculate Leverage Statistics in R

In statistics, an observation is considered an outlier if it has a value for the response variable that is much larger than the rest of the observations in the dataset.

Similarly, an observation is considered to have high leverage if it has a value (or values) for the predictor variables that are much more extreme compared to the rest of the observations in the dataset.

One of the first steps in any type of analysis is to take a closer look at the observations that have high leverage since they could have a large impact on the results of a given model.

This tutorial shows a step-by-step example of how to calculate and visualize the leverage for each observation in a model in R.

Step 1: Build a Regression Model

First, we’ll build a multiple linear regression model using the built-in mtcars dataset in R:

#load the dataset

#fit a regression model
model <- lm(mpg~disp+hp, data=mtcars)

#view model summary

             Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)    
(Intercept) 30.735904   1.331566  23.083  < 2e-16 ***
disp        -0.030346   0.007405  -4.098 0.000306 ***
hp          -0.024840   0.013385  -1.856 0.073679 .  
Signif. codes:  0 '***' 0.001 '**' 0.01 '*' 0.05 '.' 0.1 ' ' 1

Residual standard error: 3.127 on 29 degrees of freedom
Multiple R-squared:  0.7482,	Adjusted R-squared:  0.7309 
F-statistic: 43.09 on 2 and 29 DF,  p-value: 2.062e-09

Step 2: Calculate the Leverage for each Observation

Next, we’ll use the hatvalues() function to calculate the leverage for each observation in the model:

#calculate leverage for each observation in the model
hats <-

#display leverage stats for each observation

Mazda RX4                 0.04235795
Mazda RX4 Wag             0.04235795
Datsun 710                0.06287776
Hornet 4 Drive            0.07614472
Hornet Sportabout         0.08097817
Valiant                   0.05945972
Duster 360                0.09828955
Merc 240D                 0.08816960
Merc 230                  0.05102253
Merc 280                  0.03990060
Merc 280C                 0.03990060
Merc 450SE                0.03890159
Merc 450SL                0.03890159
Merc 450SLC               0.03890159
Cadillac Fleetwood        0.19443875
Lincoln Continental       0.16042361
Chrysler Imperial         0.12447530
Fiat 128                  0.08346304
Honda Civic               0.09493784
Toyota Corolla            0.08732818
Toyota Corona             0.05697867
Dodge Challenger          0.06954069
AMC Javelin               0.05767659
Camaro Z28                0.10011654
Pontiac Firebird          0.12979822
Fiat X1-9                 0.08334018
Porsche 914-2             0.05785170
Lotus Europa              0.08193899
Ford Pantera L            0.13831817
Ferrari Dino              0.12608583
Maserati Bora             0.49663919
Volvo 142E                0.05848459

Typically we take a closer look at observations that have a leverage value greater than 2.

An easy way to do this is to sort the observations based on their leverage value, descending:

#sort observations by leverage, descending
hats[order(-hats['hatvalues(model)']), ]

 [1] 0.49663919 0.19443875 0.16042361 0.13831817 0.12979822 0.12608583
 [7] 0.12447530 0.10011654 0.09828955 0.09493784 0.08816960 0.08732818
[13] 0.08346304 0.08334018 0.08193899 0.08097817 0.07614472 0.06954069
[19] 0.06287776 0.05945972 0.05848459 0.05785170 0.05767659 0.05697867
[25] 0.05102253 0.04235795 0.04235795 0.03990060 0.03990060 0.03890159
[31] 0.03890159 0.03890159

We can see that the largest leverage value is 0.4966. Since this isn’t greater than 2, we know that none of the observations in our dataset have high leverage.

Step 3: Visualize the Leverage for each Observation

Lastly, we can create a quick plot to visualize the leverage for each observation:

#plot leverage values for each observation
plot(hatvalues(model), type = 'h')

leverage in R

The x-axis displays the index of each observation in the dataset and the y-value displays the corresponding leverage statistic for each observation.

Additional Resources

How to Perform Simple Linear Regression in R
How to Perform Multiple Linear Regression in R
How to Create a Residual Plot in R

Featured Posts

3 Replies to “How to Calculate Leverage Statistics in R”

  1. Leverage can’t be greater than 1. Looking to see if a value is greater than 2 isn’t ever going to happen. Huber’s guideline was .2. Another common guideline is 2P/N, where P = # predictors and N the number of observations.

  2. The leverage statistics needs to be bigger than (p+1)/n, with p the number of predictors and n the number of observations, in order to have a high leverage point. The number (p+1)/n is the average leverage statistic. In addition the leverage statistic is always a number between 1/n and 1. Hence it is impossible to have a value greater than 2. Otherwise good tutorial.

  3. So this seems to work on lm, but what about more complicated models (e.g. glm). I am trying to use this on some data to determine if any of my points are having undue stress, but this code fails to work on glm output.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *