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Are salaries for minority employees lower than those for majority employees?

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS

1. Overview

You have been asked to provide statistical expertise in a lawsuit alleging discrimination against minority employees at Safecorp, a major banking institution. One of the issues at stake is salary equity. Your clients, the plaintiffs’ lawyers, have supplied a random sample of records from 474 employees (dataset = safecorp_data.dta). For each sample employee, you have this information:

Employee’s current annual salary (in dollars) (annual_sal) Number of years working for Safecorp (yr_work) Employee’s position at Safecorp (position)

Employee’s minority status (minority) Employee’s sex (sex)

Highest grade completed in formal education (highest)

 

 

Your task is to address the following questions in a brief memo to the legal team:

Are salaries for minority employees lower than those for majority employees?

What characteristics are associated with salary?

Do minority and majority employees differ with respect to the characteristics that are associated with salary?

Do differences in characteristics of minority and majority employees “explain” the lower salaries of minority employees?

Begin your work by thinking about why we are recommending that you use these four questions to guide your data analysis. Then, as you analyze the data, stop periodically and reflect on what you have found. Reflect (and re-reflect) on your findings until you see a pattern in the results, or a “story”. Tell that story in your memo.

2. POINTS TO CONSIDER

Your audience

Write at a level that this audience can appreciate. You are addressing people who are familiar with basic numerical concepts (averages, percents). However, most are probably not aware of concepts like hypothesis testing, regression coefficients, and so on – after all, you didn’t know about these until you took Stat 1. Such technical terms do not belong in your memo, unless you also explain them in plain English. A big part of your assignment is to convey your findings, using words that your audience can understand.

 

 

 

Tips on organizing and writing a memo of this kind

Typically, memos of this sort are organized as follows:

1. Introduction. What are you going to talk about? Why are these issues important? (Note that because this is a statistics class rather than a policy course, this will be just one short paragraph.)

2. Methods: What is your data source for addressing these issues? Very briefly, how did you analyze the data?

3. Findings: What did you find? (This section will be the bulk of your memo). Here are a few tips

Do

Use this section to tell the story that was revealed in your analysis Highlight the most important and interesting findings. Tell important

things first, and save details for last (or omit them altogether)

Use bolding and bullets as needed to separate elements of the story, as needed

Draw your reader’s attention to important trends in the tables. For example, “As shown in Table 1, Group 1 and Group 2 differed on the following characteristics…”.

Do not

Bury important findings in minutiae

Use space in your “Findings” section to recount every statistic in your table(s). In other words, be selective!

4. Conclusions: How do your findings address the question that you posed in the introduction? What do you conclude? Briefly, what are the limitations of your analysis?

 

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