The Situation: I have four similar spatial regression models, differing only in their dependent variables. The independent variables consist of a standard set of variables derived from a principal component analysis. The dependent variables have been standardized by using the standard score for each observation.
The Question: Can the regression coefficients be directly compared across the models? For example, can I say that because the coefficient for an IV is .25 in a model using the first DV and .50 in a model using the second DV, that the impact of the IV in the first model is twice that of the impact of the second model?
A little more background:
I am using four spatial spatial regression models to to look at what socio-demographic factors are associated with poverty in an area. The units of observation are census tracts.
The four models are identical, except for the dependent variable used. Each model has the same set of independent variables from the same location and data set. The independent variables were derived using factors from a principal component analysis.
The dependent variables used represent four different ways of measuring the well-being of a census tract, which are: 1) the percentage of poor people per census tract using poverty line A, 2) the percentage of poor people per census tract using poverty line B, 3) The Per Capita Income of the census tract, and 4) A ratio of census tract income to average regional income.
Instead of using the observations for the DVs however, I have used the standard scores (z scores) of each observation, with the intention of making the regression results comparable across models.
To further complicate things: Two of the variables directly measure poverty, while the other two measure income, so the direction of the relationships between the IVs and DVs has been reversed. Would this cause any additional problems in directly comparing regression coefficients?