Singleequation Regression Models

Part I of this text introduces single-equation regression models. In these models, one variable, called the dependent variable, is expressed as a linear function of one or more other variables, called the explanatory variables. In such models it is assumed implicitly that causal relationships, if any, between the dependent and explanatory variables flow in one direction only, namely, from the explanatory variables to the dependent variable.

In Chapter 1, we discuss the historical as well as the modern interpretation of the term regression and illustrate the difference between the two interpretations with several examples drawn from economics and other fields.

In Chapter 2, we introduce some fundamental concepts of regression analysis with the aid of the two-variable linear regression model, a model in which the dependent variable is expressed as a linear function of only a single explanatory variable.

In Chapter 3, we continue to deal with the two-variable model and introduce what is known as the classical linear regression model, a model that makes several simplifying assumptions. With these assumptions, we introduce the method of ordinary least squares (OLS) to estimate the parameters of the two-variable regression model. The method of OLS is simple to apply, yet it has some very desirable statistical properties.

In Chapter 4, we introduce the (two-variable) classical normal linear regression model, a model that assumes that the random dependent variable follows the normal probability distribution. With this assumption, the OLS estimators obtained in Chapter 3 possess some stronger statistical properties than the nonnormal classical linear regression model—properties that enable us to engage in statistical inference, namely, hypothesis testing.

Chapter 5 is devoted to the topic of hypothesis testing. In this chapter, we try to find out whether the estimated regression coefficients are compatible with the hypothesized values of such coefficients, the hypothesized values being suggested by theory and/or prior empirical work.

Chapter 6 considers some extensions of the two-variable regression model. In particular, it discusses topics such as (1) regression through the origin, (2) scaling and units of measurement, and (3) functional forms of regression models such as double-log, semilog, and reciprocal models.

In Chapter 7, we consider the multiple regression model, a model in which there is more than one explanatory variable, and show how the method of OLS can be extended to estimate the parameters of such models.

In Chapter 8, we extend the concepts introduced in Chapter 5 to the multiple regression model and point out some of the complications arising from the introduction of several explanatory variables.

Chapter 9 on dummy, or qualitative, explanatory variables concludes Part I of the text. This chapter emphasizes that not all explanatory variables need to be quantitative (i.e., ratio scale). Variables, such as gender, race, religion, nationality, and region of residence, cannot be readily quantified, yet they play a valuable role in explaining many an economic phenomenon.

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