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Relative Distribution Methods in the Social Sciences : Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy - Mark S. Handcock

Relative Distribution Methods in the Social Sciences

Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy

Hardcover

Published: 5th August 1999
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In social science research, differences among groups or changes over time are a common focus of study. While means and variances are typically the basis for statistical methods used in this research, the underlying social theory often implies properties of distributions that are not well captured by these summary measures. Examples include the current controversies regarding growing inequality in earnings, racial diferences in test scores, socio-economic correlates of birth outcomes, and the impact of smoking on survival and health. The distributional differences that animate the debates in these fields are complex. They comprise the usual mean-shifts and changes in variance, but also more subtle comparisons of changes in the upper and lower tails of distributions. Survey and census data on such attributes contain a wealth of distributional information, but traditional methods of data analysis leave much of this information untapped. In this monograph, we present methods for full comparative distributional analysis. The methods are based on the relative distribution, a nonparametric complete summary of the information required for scale--invariant comparisons between two distributions. The relative distribution provides a general integrated framework for analysis. It offers a graphical component that simplifies exploratory data analysis and display, a statistically valid basis for the development of hypothesis-driven summary measures, and the potential for decomposition that enables one to examine complex hypotheses regarding the origins of distributional changes within and between groups. The monograph is written for data analysts and those interested in measurement, and it can serve as a textbook for a course on distributional methods. The presentation is application oriented,

From the reviews:

SOCIOLOGICAL METHODS & RESEARCH

"This book is a good example of how advances in statistics and increased computing power can enable us to be more careful researchers by exploring and preserving the complexities of observed data. I recommend it enthusiastically."

Introduction and Motivation
The Relative Distribution
Location, Spread and Shape Decomposition
Application: The Earnings Distribution 1967-1997
Summary Measures
Application: Earnings by Race and Sex: 1967-1997
Adjustment for Covariates
Application: Comparing Wage Mobility in Two Eras
Inference for the Relative Distribution
Inference for Summary Measures
The Relative Distribution for Discrete Data
Application to Measuring Changes in Hours Worked
Quantile Regression
Quantile Regression
Analysis of Factorial Designs
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780387987781
ISBN-10: 0387987789
Series: Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 266
Published: 5th August 1999
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.54