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Linking Individuals and Societies

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  • Jasso, Guillermina

    () (New York University)

Abstract

How do individuals shape societies? How do societies shape individuals? This paper develops a framework for studying the connections between micro and macro phenomena. The framework builds on two ingredients widely used in social science ? population and variable. Starting with the simplest case of one population and one variable, we systematically introduce additional variables and additional populations. This approach enables simple and natural introduction and exposition of such operations as pooling, matching, regression, hierarchical and multilevel modeling, calculating summary measures, finding the distribution of a function of random variables, and choosing between two or more distributions. To illustrate the procedures we draw on problems from a variety of topical domains in social science, including an extended illustration focused on residential racial segregation. Three useful features of the framework are: First, similarities in the mathematical structure underlying distinct substantive questions, spanning different levels of aggregation and different substantive domains, become apparent. Second, links between distinct methodological procedures and operations become apparent. Third, the framework has a potential for growth, as new models and operations become incorporated into the framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Jasso, Guillermina, 2009. "Linking Individuals and Societies," IZA Discussion Papers 4288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4288
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guillermina Jasso & Samuel Kotz, 2007. "A new continuous distribution and two new families of distributions based on the exponential," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 61(3), pages 305-328.
    2. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-493, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    identity; happiness; probability distributions; personal quantitative characteristics; personal qualitative characteristics; lognormal distribution; Pareto distribution; status; power; justice; comparison; micro-macro link; deductive theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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