Saturday, October 28, 2017

Veterans, The Elderly, and Living Wage Cities/Counties

I asked others in the field of demographics on my last post on the percentage of veterans being a negative predictor of the amount of living wage enacted in the 38 cities/counties that have passed living wage ordinances.  One expert in the field suggested one variable that I hadn't considered.  

Chris Briem over at the blog Nullspace suggested I look at age as a possible variable that could mediate this relationship.  He stated that there are higher concentrations of veterans among the elderly.  This makes sense as the draft existed before 1970.  I did obtain the % of the population over the age of 65 for cities in the 2010 census and added it to the model seen below.

Standard Error
t Stat
Lower 95%
Upper 95%
% veteran
% over 65

The % of veterans in the city/county still significantly negatively predicted the amount of the living wage passed while the % over the age of 65 did not predict it in either direction.  These cities did have lower percentage of veterans (mean=4.95%) than the US (6.22%).  Likewise these cities did have lower percentages of those over 65 (mean=11.77%) than the US (13.00%).  

I looked at the correlation between the % of veterans and the % over 65.  There was a non-significant positive correlation between the variables as can be seen in the graph below.  Only 8% of the variability in the % over 65 was accounted for by the % veterans for these cities.  There are cities with high elderly populations and low veteran populations such as Palo Alto and El Cerrito, CA

It may be more informative to look at the % of elderly veterans vs. younger veterans as a predictor of the amount of the living wage.  I'm not sure where that data is available but it is a good area of inquiry.

**Related Posts**

What do Living Wage Cities Have in Common?

Veterans, the Living Wage, and the McNamara Fallacy