A Regression Primer for Labor Practitioners

30 June 2008
By Dr. Kristin Terris et al.

Labor and employment litigation frequently involves complex quantitative issues, such as measuring differences between men and women or comparing promotion outcomes for different groups of workers. Econometrics provides techniques for reliably addressing these issues. This discipline combines statistical methods with economic theory to derive and test hypotheses and measure underlying relationships between variables. Powerful statements can result from correctly applying its basic principles. This article, published in Labor and Employment Law, explores the increasing use of regression techniques in employment litigation as courts begin to recognize the limited applications of simple averages. The authors provide a description of how economists develop regression models, and conclude that careful regression analysis can provide value in litigation by providing objective and scientific methods for addressing quantitative issues.