Middle-range theories, moderator models and marginal effects: What does sour grapes make taste sweeter?

Author: Dr Dominik Becker
Affiliation: Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Email: dominik.becker@ifsoz.uni-tuebingen.de

Paper Details

The idea of middle-range theories is that social mechanisms may only hold for a limited domain, (i.e. certain temporal, local, or personal conditions). We assume that statistical moderator models with their capacity to estimate marginal effects of a predictor over meaningful values of the moderator are an adequate technique to 'translate' the idea of middle-range theories into quantitative methods of analysis. Substantially, we use German panel data to analyze whether the impact of biographical 'failures' such as low occupational status and/or income on life satisfaction is moderated by respondents' internal vs. external locus of control.