SOC 206 Survey and Demographic Methods II


Akos Rona-Tas

Office: SSB 491

Phone: 534-4699

Office Hours: M 10-12

or by appointment



Teaching Assistant:

Karen Buerkle


In this course we will cover multivariate linear regression, and some of its extensions. I assume that you have taken SOC 205 or an equivalent course, and you are familiar with simple regression analysis. The course will focus on conceptual issues and will de-emphasize mathematical technicalities. We will be using SPSS for Windows and LIMDEP for data analysis.

My goal is not to turn you into statisticians. I will consider my course a success if at the end of the course you will be competent users of these techniques, and fearless readers of articles and books using these statistical tools.

Apart from the textbook [Knoke and Bohrnstedt, Statistics for Social Data Analysis] there are two other books you will need. Tim Futing Liao’s Interpreting Probability Models: Logit, Probit and Other Generalized Linear Models will complement the textbook. The third book Ivan Szelenyi’s Socialist Entrepreneurs serves as substantive example. There are a few other articles for this course to read.

You will have four assignments. All of you will have to make a presentation of one of the first three. There is a final research paper where you test some theory using multivariate analysis. Each assignment will count as 15% of your grade and the final paper will count for 30%, class participation will make up the rest.


1st Week

Simple Regression, Causation and the Logic of Multivariate Contingency Analysis


Reading: B&K, Ch. 6 & 7

2nd Week

Model Building and Multiple Regression

Three Variable Regression Models



B&K. Ch. 8



The Rossi - Zeisel Debate

Berk, Richard A., Kenneth J. Lenihan, and Peter H. Rossi. Crime and Poverty: Some Experimental Evidence from Ex-Offenders. ASR. Vol.45. No.5. pp.766-786.

Zeisel, Hans. Disagreement over the Evaluation of a Controlled Experiment. AJS. Vol.88. No.2. pp.378-389.

Rossi, Peter H., Richard A. Berk and Kenneth J. Lenihan. Saying It Wrong with Figures: A Comment on Zeisel. AJS Vol.88. No.2. pp.390-393.

Zeisel, Hans. Hans Zeisel Concludes the Debate. AJS. Vol.88. No.2. pp.394-396.


Further Reading:

Th H.M. Blalock, Causal Inferences in Nonexperimental Research.

Th H. Smith, Specification Problems in Experimental and Nonexperimental Social Research, In Sociological Methodology 1990, 20:59-91.


3rd Week

Multiple Regression with K Independent Variables

Comparing Nested Equations

Sample Selection Bias

1st Assignment due




Reading: B&K. Ch. 8

Berk, Richard A. An Introduction to Sample Selection Bias in Sociological Data, ASR vol. 48, 1983



Szelenyi, Ivan. 1988. Socialist Entrepreneurs. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press


4th Week





B&K. Ch. 11



O.D. Duncan, Path Analysis: Sociological Examples. AJS, vol. 72, 1966


Further Readings:

O.D. Duncan, Introduction to Structural Equation Models.

P.M. Blau and O.D. Duncan, The American Occupational Structure.



5th Week

Path Models with Latent Variables



B&K. Ch. 11





6th week

Dummy Variable Regression, Interactions and Non-linearity


2nd Assignment due



B&K. Ch. 8 and 9



Simpson, Miles, Political Rights and Income Inequality: A Cross-National Test. ASR vol. 55. 1990


Further readings:

K. E. Southwood, Substantive Theory and Statistical Interaction. Five Models. AJS vol 83:5 1978

P.D. Allison, Testing for Interaction in Multiple Regression. AJS vol 83:1 1977

T J.A. Stimson, E.G. Carmines and R.A. Zeller, Interpreting Polynomial Regression. In Linear Models in Social Research ed. by P.V. Marsden


7th Week

Dichotomous Dependent Variable

Logistic Regression (Logit) and Probit


B&K, Chapter 9

Liao, Chapters 1, 2, 3



Rona-Tas, Akos. 1994. The First Shall Be Last? American Journal of Sociology 100/1:40-69


8th Week

Polytomous Dependent Variable

Multinomial Logit

3rd Assignment due



Liao, Chapter 6



A. Rona-Tas and J. Borocz, The Formation of New Business Elites in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland: Continuity and Change, Pre-Communist and Communist Legacies.


9th Week

Sequential Logit, Ordinal Logit, and Discrete Time Event-History Analysis

Reading: Liao Chapter 4, 5

Allison, Discrete-time Methods for the Analysis of Event Histories, in S. Leinhard ed. Sociological Methodology, 1982, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass


Further Reading:

C. Winship and R.D. Mare, Regression Models with Ordinal Variables, ASR, 1984 August, 49:512-525.


Yamaguchi, Kazuo, Event History Analysis, Newbury Park: Sage 1991.


4th Assignment due


10th Week



Blalock, H. B., The Real and Unrealized Contribution of Quantitative Sociology. ASR, vol 54, 1989

A. Abbott, Transcending General Linear Reality. Sociological Theory, vol 6:2 1988


Final Paper Due