Moved from here: http://www.talkstats.com/showthread....on-coeffecient

Hello, I'm new here and am quite interested in statistics, thinking of going into social psychology because I'm interested in sociological subjects.

Anyway, I had a question, I found a study with this conclusion:

"The gap between Whites and Blacks in levels of violence has animated a prolonged and controversial debate in public health and the social sciences. Our study reveals that over 60% of this gap is explained by immigration status, marriage, length of residence, verbal/reading ability, impulsivity, and neighborhood context. If we focus on odds ratios rather than raw coefficients, 70% of the gap is explained."

http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/sam.../2005_ajph.pdf

I was just wondering what the difference is between a coefficient difference and an odds ratio difference, and why that distinction is significant or meaningful? I can't find a simple explanation anywhere.

If a regression coefficient is just meant to be transformed into the odds ratio, why bother with the regression coefficient? And why place so much emphasis on the regression coefficient difference in your study?