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RE: st: when your sample is the entire population

From   "Paolo Pamini" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   RE: st: when your sample is the entire population
Date   Sat, 19 Jan 2008 03:31:32 +0100

Hi all

Suppose you have data on every kid in the school, not a survey, and every
school in the district, and you want to test for some form of sex
discrimination in assignment to a program.  Well, just see if more girls
than boys (or vice versa) are assigned, and there is your evidence of
discrimination, right?

I think the problem doesn't disappear when working with explanatory
variables: assume that assignment to a programme is determined by low income
and that girls in your whole population are generally richer than boys, then
you have an over-proportion of assigned boys, although not sex but income is
the true explanatory variable. The whole story is even more complicated
assuming relationships with further explanatory variables.

As soon as you do a multiple regression you need significance tests even if
working with the whole population, am I wrong?



lic. oec. publ. Paolo Pamini

Assistent Mathematik
Institut f�r Operations Research
Universit�t Z�rich
Moussonstr. 15
CH-8044 Z�rich

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