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By Howard Rheingold

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Extra resources for They Have a Word for It: A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words and Phrases

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Blalock (1962-1963) has actually provided an exhaustive enumeration of the " predictions " for all pos­ sible four-variable models. 13) should, there­ fore, be close to zero. If it is not—if the difference from zero is too great to attribute to sampling error—we should be obliged to call into question the overidentifying restriction of this model. Blalock does not develop formal procedures of statistical inference for this kind of test. Again, we conclude that the proposed test is conceptually valid and is useful to the investigator who wants to be sure he under­ stands the properties of his model.

The definition also subsumes the case in which there are two or more ostensibly contemporaneous dependent variables where none of them has a direct or indirect causal 25 26 INTRODUCTION TO STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELS linkage to any other. This situation is illustrated by Models II and IF in Chapter 2 (assuming that puv in Model ΙΓ does not implicitly arise from either a path y -> z or a path z -> y). In this case, we have to consider whether or not to specify puv = 0. " With the exception of this last kind of situation—which offers no difficulty in principle, though it requires careful handling in practice— we can state that all the dependent variables in a recursive model (those whose causes are explicitly represented in the model) are arrayed in an unambiguous causal ordering.

Because of its conceptual interest, however, we indicate how one might proceed.

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