What Defeated a Negative Income Tax?: Constructing a Causal Explanation of a Politically Controversial Historical Event

House Floor FAP Vote Model Results

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House Floor FAP Vote Model Results

Table 1 presents results from using maximum likelihood coefficient estimation in a single equation multiple logistic regression model, with all explanatory variables entered linearly, of the April 16, 1970 House FAP floor vote. Descriptively, the sign of each coefficient estimate is what previous narratives and political logic suggest. To interpret the results causally one must at least assume that the model functional form is correct, the list of operational variables includes all that are of causal importance, and nominal are indistinguishable from actual p-values.

That the p-value for the 2 test is <.0001 means that variability in explanatory variables explains variability in log (odds of a vote for FAP), in the sense of "explain" that statisticians employ, at any conventional -level. That the coefficients of LIBERAL, ANTIWAR, and REPUBLICAN differ from zero at any conventional a-level while that of SOUTH does not, suggests that those explanatory narratives that stress too much the role of the South in defeating FAP may be in error.

Since each explanatory variable ranges from 0 to 1, it makes sense to informally compareestimated coefficientvalues. Such a comparison estimates LIBERAL has about four times the effect on log (odds of a vote for FAP) as the next most influential explanatory variable. Hence the results of the logistic regression model of the House floor FAP vote suggest that a narrative account of the 91st Congress defeat of FAP should center its explanation primarily on political tendency.

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