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Multiple regression, longitudinal data and welfare in the 19th century: reflections on Yule (1899)

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The paper that G. U. Yule read to the Royal Statistical Society in 1899 is, by virtue of its application of multiple regression to observational data, a landmark in social statistics. It is also an illustration of the value of relating a change in an explanatory variable to a change in the response when wishing to draw causal conclusions. This paper returns to Yule's data and analysis from a 21st‐century perspective. A range of multilevel and fixed effects models are fitted to the reconstructed data set and his conclusions are re‐examined. The social and political contexts of Yule's work are also considered.
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Keywords: Causal analysis; History of statistics; Longitudinal data; Multilevel models; Poor Law union returns; Udny Yule

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2018

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