structural equations

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structural equations Structural equations specify, by means of a set of linear equations, how a set of variables are related to each other in terms of cause and effect (causal models) or paths through ordered networks of statistical dependence (path analysis). The variables within the system are referred to as endogenous and those external and unspecified as exogenous, the latter often treated together as error or disturbance terms, assumptions about which are crucial to making the equations solvable. Regression methods are used to estimate the numerical effect of one variable upon another. In sociology, structural equations are used particularly to analyse occupational mobility or status attainment. For an overview of the basic concepts, issues, and applications see Rick H. Hoyle ( ed.) , Structural Equation Modelling (1995