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st: when the sample is the entire population

From   Lloyd Dumont <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   st: when the sample is the entire population
Date   Fri, 18 Jan 2008 09:33:29 -0800 (PST)

Hello, everyone.  I am facing a statistical
"challenge" that must be commonplace as microdata
becomes more and more accessible.  I have been
estimating  models using xtreg, as I have people
coming and going monthly over about a two year period.
 Some estimates significant, others not.

But, if the people in the "sample" are the entire
population that I am inferring to, conventional
measures of significance seem inapprpriate.  But, I
have never read any social science that presents
regression estimates, and then says something along
the lines of, "These are what they are.  Significance
doesn't apply here."

-Am I roughly correct?
-Is there some other measure of "certainty" that might
be informative in these situations?
-Is there a name for this type of "sample" or
estimation issue?  Googling it has been a real
challenge, though there must be lots of
writing/commenting on this matter.

Thanks for your thoughts.  Lloyd Dumont

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