Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

Palko’s on a roll

I just wanted to interrupt our scheduled stream of posts to link to a bunch of recent material from Mark Palko: At least we can all agree that ad hominem and overly general attacks are bad: A savvy critique of the way in which opposition of any sort can be dismissed as “ad hominem” attacks. […]

More bad news for the buggy-whip manufacturers

In a news article regarding difficulties in using panel surveys to measure the unemployment rate, David Leonhardt writes: The main factor is technology. It’s a major cause of today’s response-rate problems – but it’s also the solution. For decades, survey research has revolved around the telephone, and it’s worked very well. But Americans’ relationship with […]

Suspiciously vague graph purporting to show “percentage of slaves or serfs in the world”

Phillip Middleton sent this along, it’s from Peter Diamandis, who is best known for his X Prize, the “global leader in the creation of incentivized prize competitions.” Diamandis wrote: Phillip Middleton, Is technology making you work harder? Or giving you more time off? Seriously, it feels like it’s enabling me to work around the clock! […]

My talk at the Simons Foundation this Wed 5pm

Anti-Abortion Democrats, Jimmy Carter Republicans, and the Missing Leap Day Babies: Living with Uncertainty but Still Learning To learn about the human world, we should accept uncertainty and embrace variation. We illustrate this concept with various examples from our recent research (the above examples are with Yair Ghitza and Aki Vehtari) and discuss more generally […]

How does inference for next year’s data differ from inference for unobserved data from the current year?

Juliet Price writes: I recently came across your blog post from 2009 about how statistical analysis differs when analyzing an entire population rather than a sample. I understand the part about conceptualizing the problem as involving a stochastic data generating process, however, I have a query about the paragraph on ‘making predictions about future cases, […]

Why isn’t replication required before publication in top journals?

Gabriel Power asks the above question, writing: I don’t recall seeing, on your blog or elsewhere, this question raised directly. Of course there is much talk about the importance of replication, mostly by statisticians, and economists are grudgingly following suit with top journals requiring datasets and code. But why not make it a simple requirement? […]

Avoiding model selection in Bayesian social research

One of my favorites, from 1995. Don Rubin and I argue with Adrian Raftery. Here’s how we begin: Raftery’s paper addresses two important problems in the statistical analysis of social science data: (1) choosing an appropriate model when so much data are available that standard P-values reject all parsimonious models; and (2) making estimates and […]

Pre-election survey methodology: details from nine polling organizations, 1988 and 1992

This one from 1995 (with D. Stephen Voss and Gary King) was fun. For our “Why are American Presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable?” project a few years earlier, Gary and I had analyzed individual-level survey responses from 60 pre-election polls that had been conducted by several different polling organizations. […]

Discussion of “A probabilistic model for the spatial distribution of party support in multiparty elections”

From 1994. I don’t have much to say about this one. The paper I was discussing (by Samuel Merrill) had already been accepted by the journal—I might even have been a referee, in which case the associate editor had decided to accept the paper over my objections—and the editor gave me the opportunity to publish […]

Review of “Forecasting Elections”

From 1993. The topic of election forecasting sure gets a lot more attention than it used to! Here are some quotes from my review of that book by Michael Lewis-Beck and Tom Rice: Political scientists are aware that most voters are consistent in their preferences, and one can make a good guess just looking at […]