This page contains links to three groups of items on statistical issues, all of which are also discussed under other headings. Section A (“Correlations Between the Size of Differences Between Rates and the Overall Prevalence of an Outcome”) contains links to articles discussing the patterns whereby measures of differences between rates of experiencing an outcome tend to be correlated with the overall prevalence of an outcome. Without understanding these tendencies it is not possible to determine whether the size of one difference between outcome rates is larger than another in any meaningful sense – including, for example, whether a three-to-one disparity is larger than a two-to-one disparity. As a result of the near universal failure to understand these tendencies, however, very little research or commentary comparing the size of differences between rates of experiencing an outcome, whether in the law of the social and medical sciences, has been of value. These articles are also discussed on the Measuring Health Disparities page (MHD) and its sub-pages. That page also contains links to 22 Conference Presentations conference presentation and over 120 on-line letters to medical or health policy journals further explaining the tendencies generally or with regard to particular sets of data, as well as a number of sub-pages addressing particular issues. A number of the articles on MHD, however, pertain to the role of the referenced tendency with regard to issues other than health disparities. The Scanlan’s Rule page and its various sub-pages, as well as the Mortality and Survival, Measures of Association, Educational Disparities, Lending Disparities, and Discipline Disparities page, also discuss the pattern with regard to an assortment of issues involving matters other than health disparities.
Section B (“Job Segregation”) lists articles explaining the flaws in efforts to prove “job segregation” or “initial assignment discrimination” based solely on the way employees in different groups are distributed within a company and without regard to the composition of applicants seeking or willing to accept various positions. These articles are also found under Section A of the “Employment Discrimination” page.
Section C (“Other Statistical Issues”) contains links to items relating to other statistical issues. It lists only one published article (item C.1). Note 23 of that article briefly discusses the relevance of a number of the articles under Section A. I note, however, that all the reasoning in C.1 regarding the size of disparities should be evaluated from the perspective provided in Section E.6 of the Measuring Health Disparities page. The other links in Section C.1 are to on-line letters that are also collected on the Health Disparities Measurement page. They are collected there in part because they relate to the main issue on that page, which is also the subject of Section A of this page. But they are listed here because they involve other statistical issues as well. A brief parenthetical note describes the issue.
Section D (Miscellaneous) contains a link to an historical document. The document was filed in court as part of the government plaintiffs’ final report at the conclusion of the AT&T consent decree, which from 1973 to 1979 had imposed certain affirmative action obligations on AT&T and the 23 Bell System Operating Companies. The document, which explains various flaws in the goal-setting mechanism that went undiscovered during the term of the decree, illustrates a number of statistical issues.
The articles in Sections B and C are listed in a different style from those in Section A simply because the articles in Section A, as listed in the Measuring Health Disparities page, use the medical journal format. The articles are numbered chronologically but listed from most to least recent (for reason explained in the Measuring Health Disparities page).
Subsequent to the initial creation of this page, a Vignettes page was added. It contains a number of sub-pages that are generally related to statistical issues. The Times Higher Issues sub-page addresses the widespread custom of describing, for example, 3 as being three times greater than 1, rather than three times as great as 1. It provides tables showing the overwhelming predominance of the misusage even in scientific journals, with the notable exception of the New England Journal of Medicine. The sub-page also discusses several related points including the fact that most dictionary definitions of the word “multiplication” are incorrect. The Gender Differences in DADT Terminations page discusses certain misperceptions in reportage that women are disproportionately discharged for violation of the military don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, including the bases for the perception that women and disproportionately discharged and the bases for comparisons among the military branches (which involves the issue discussed on the Representational Disparities sub-page of the Scanlan’s Rule page). The Adjustment Issues sub-page addresses several points concerning approaches to adjustment of group differences in outcome rates for group differences in particular outcome-related characteristics, including the confusion between the standard adjustment for different prevalences of a characteristic within different groups and determining what the differences between rates would be if the characteristic did not exist. This is also the subject of items C.2, C.4., and C.5 below. The Percentage Pointssub-page addresses the way researchers refer to percentage point differences as if they were percent differences. The Odds Ratios and Statistical Significance Vig sub-pages are as yet only sketches and do not warrant description here (save to note that item C.6 below relates to the latter).
A. Correlations Between the Size of Differences Between Rates and the Overall Prevalence of an Outcome
5. Effects of standard adjustment approaches on relative and absolute inequalities. J Epidemiol and Community Health Nov. 2, 2009 (responding to Lynch J, Davey Smith G, Harper S, Bainbridge K. Explaining the social gradient in coronary heart disease: comparing relative and absolute risk approaches. J Epidemiol Community Health 2006:60:436-441): http://jech.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/60/5/436
4. Study shows different adjustment approaches rather than different relative and absolute perspectives. Journal Review May 1, 2008 (responding to Khang YH, Lynch JW, Jung-Choi K, Cho HJ. Explaining age-specific inequalities in mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and ischaemic heart disease among South Korean public servants: relative and absolute perspectives. Heart 2008;94:75-82):: http://journalreview.org/v2/articles/view/17591645.html
2. Understanding social gradients in adverse health outcomes within high and low risk populations. J Epidemiol Community Health May 18, 2006, responding to Lynch J, Davey Smith G, Harper S, Bainbridge K. Explaining the social gradient in coronary heart disease: comparing relative and absolute risk approaches. J Epidemiol Community Health 2006:60:436-441: http://jech.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/60/5/436
1. "Measuring Hiring Discrimination," The Labor Law Journal (July, 1993)