Theory Development

8. Understanding and Interpretation

Exercise 5

Question: Below are a series of hypothesized mechanisms that can be tested by using additional demographic categorizations. Drag and Drop each categorization to match with the appropriate mechanism.

The categorizations are: Family Assets, Income Inequality, and Parental Education.

The mechanisms are: Link between supporting Clinton and Marital Status, There is a predictive link between race and school suspensions, There is no consistent predictive link between the average family income in a zip code and its preference for redistributionist policies.

Answers:
Link between supporting Clinton and Marital Status.
[Family Assets]
Remediation: If we add in a question about family assets, we would get a proxy measure for relative financial insecurity, which is what the real explanation probably is. But this is not something we can measure directly, so it makes sense to ask about something we can.

There is a predictive link between race and school suspensions.
[Parental Education]
Remediation: Consider why this might be a mechanism. One view is that the entire difference is a result of class, so that a measure for class, such as parental education, should show that the differences disappear if children of similar class levels are compared.

There is no consistent predictive link between the average family income in a zip code and its preference for redistributionist policies.
[Income Inequality]
Remediation: Many such issues involve relative judgments – comparing yourself to the people around you. If we measure income inequality by zip code, we find that the zip codes where income is most equal are less likely to support redistributionist policies.