A scatter plot of number of teachers and number of people with college degrees

| March 14, 2016

Question
A scatter plot of number of teachers and number of people with college degrees for cities in California reveals a positive association. The most likely explanation for this positive association is:

a) Teachers encourage people to get college degrees, so an increase in the number of teachers is causing an increase in the number of people with college degrees.
b) Larger cities tend to have both more teachers and more people with college degrees, so the association is explained by a third variable, the size of the city.
c) Cities with higher incomes tend to have more teachers and more people going to college, so income is a confounding variable, making causation between number of teachers and number of people with college degrees difficult to prove.
d) Teaching is a common profession for people with college degrees, so an increase in the number of people with college degrees causes an increase in the number of teachers.

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