Spatial modeling for social inequality : a geographic perspective
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The concept of need and servicing has been a cornerstone of public service research since its inception, although the methods for modeling and assessing need have changed dramatically as technology development has allowed for higher level data aggregation and processing techniques to be employed. Modeled after Heflin and Miller's research study on "The Geography of Need: Identifying Human Service Needs in Rural America", this thesis examines need and inequality from a geographic perspective, employing geographic information systems, spatial statistics and modeling techniques to provide a representation of inequality and need across the state of Missouri. Methods for variable selection include the employment of qualitative research and factor analysis, along with geographically weighted regression for the development of weights for variables included in the final model. Following the construction of profiles to represent specific categories of inequality, results showed that economic variables included in the analysis were most influential in the overall construction of the models, followed by demographic, sociocultural, and environmental variables respectively.
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