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Archive of posts filed under the Political Science category.

My job here is done

It was cool, back in the day, to be mocked in the House of Commons: And of course I was happy a few months ago to be cited by the Supreme Court: But the high point of my journalistic career is being mentioned in Private Eye (see above). I can retire now.

Are you ready for some smashmouth FOOTBALL?

Kickoff This story started for me three years ago with a pre-election article by Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier entitled, “Will Ohio State’s football team decide who wins the White House?.” Cowen and Grier wrote: Economists Andrew Healy, Neil Malhotra, and Cecilia Mo . . . examined whether the outcomes of college football games on […]

“How does peer review shape science?”

In a paper subtitled, “A simulation study of editors, reviewers, and the scientific publication process,” political scientist Justin Esarey writes: Under any system I study, a majority of accepted papers will be evaluated by the average reader as not meeting the standards of the journal. Moreover, all systems allow random chance to play a strong […]

3 postdoc opportunities you can’t miss—here in our group at Columbia! Apply NOW, don’t miss out!

Hey, just once, the Buzzfeed-style hype is appropriate. We have 3 amazing postdoc opportunities here, and you need to apply NOW. Here’s the deal: we’re working on some amazing projects. You know about Stan and associated exciting projects in computational statistics. There’s the virtual database query, which is the way I like to describe our […]

It’s all about the denominator: Rajiv Sethi and Sendhil Mullainathan in a statistical debate on racial bias in police killings

Rajiv Sethi points me to this column by Sendhil Mullainathan, who writes: Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. Walter Scott. Michael Brown. Each killing raises a disturbing question: Would any of these people have been killed by police officers if they had been white? . . . There is ample statistical evidence of large and persistent racial […]

Ta-Nehisi Coates, David Brooks, and the “Street Code” of Journalism

In my latest Daily Beast column, I decide to be charitable to the factually-challenged NYT columnist: From our perspective, Brooks’s refusal to admit error makes him look like a buffoon. But maybe we’re just judging him based on the norms of another culture. . . . From our perspective, Brooks spreading anti-Semitic false statistics in […]

Hierarchical logistic regression in Stan: The untold story

Corey Yanofsky pointed me to a paper by Neal Beck, Estimating grouped data models with a binary dependent variable and fixed effects: What are the issues?, which begins: This article deals with a very simple issue: if we have grouped data with a binary dependent variable and want to include fixed effects (group specific intercepts) […]

You’ll never guess what’s happening in the Columbia sociology department! Tune in at 2pm to find out.

I’ll be speaking 2pm, Thurs 15 Oct, at 509 Knox Hall (606 W 122 St) in the sociology department seminar. The political impact of social penumbras Andrew Gelman, Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science The penumbra of a group is the set of people who know at least one person in that group. […]

Mars Missions are a Scam

Dan Vergano, science reporter at BuzzFeed News and formerly of USA Today, writes: We wonder if you, or someone you’d recommend, might comment on a replication debate that is playing out in the journal Political Psychology. Essentially, a researcher at Fordham claimed pictures of eyes on mailers increased voter turnout in 2014. Two authors elsewhere […]

Political advertising update

Last month I posted an article on the sister blog: How much does advertising matter in presidential elections?, discussing a paper by Brett Gordon and Wesley Hartmann. Gordon sent in an update: Both Wes and I greatly appreciate your comments and for highlighting our work. All the points you raise are quite fair. As you […]

“Gallup gives up the horse race: As pollsters confront unprecedented obstacles, the biggest name in the business backs away”

A couple people pointed me to this news item. I don’t have anything particular to say here, but it seemed worth noting. End of an era and all that. P.S. A colleague commented: “They’re not going to poll one of those things where we can tell if you get it wrong. Not good.” I replied: […]

Flamebait: “Mathiness” in economics and political science

Political scientist Brian Silver points me to his post by economist Paul Romer, who writes: The style that I [Romer] am calling mathiness lets academic politics masquerade as science. Like mathematical theory, mathiness uses a mixture of words and symbols, but instead of making tight links, it leaves ample room for slippage between statements in […]

Jason Chaffetz is the Garo Yepremian of the U.S. House of Representatives, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Mike Spagat and Paul Alper points us to this truly immoral bit of graphical manipulation, courtesy of U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz. Here’s the evil graph: Here’s the correction: From the news article by Zachary Roth: As part of a contentious back-and-forth in which Chaffetz repeatedly cut off [Planned Parenthood president Cecile] Richards, the congressman displayed […]

How to use lasso etc. in political science?

Tom Swartz writes: I am a graduate student at Oxford with a background in economics and on the side am teaching myself more statistics and machine learning. I’ve been following your blog for some time and recently came across this post on lasso. In particular, the more I read about the machine learning community, the […]

Draw your own graph!

Bob writes: You must have seen this. I like it. But not enough to spend time blogging about it. I’ll try blogging it myself . . . OK, yeah, this interactive graph is great. It reminds me of “scatterplot charades” exercises we do in class from time to time. Somebody should write a program so […]

War, Numbers and Human Losses

That’s the title of Mike Spagat’s new blog. In his most recent post, Spagat disputes the the claim that “at least 240,000 Syrians have died violently since the civil war flared up four years ago.” I am not an expert in this area so I offer no judgment on these particular numbers, but in any […]

BREAKING . . . Sepp Blatter accepted $2M payoff from Dennis Hastert

I think Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos were involved too. It all went down on the George Washington Bridge, and Hillary Clinton recorded it in her personal email. Details coming from Seymour Hersh. P.S. This was topical back when I wrote in early June! I would’ve put it on the sister blog, which specializes in […]

USAs usannsynlige presidentkandidat.

With current lag, this should really appear in September but I thought I better post it now in case it does not remain topical. It’s a news article by Linda May Kallestein, which begins as follows: Sosialisten Bernie Sanders: Kan en 73 år gammel jøde, født av polske innvandrere, vokst opp under enkle kår og […]

Vizzy vizzy vizzy viz

Nadia Hassan points me to this post by Matthew Yglesias, who writes: Here’s a very cool data visualization from that took me a minute to figure out because it’s a little bit unorthodox. The way it works is that it visualizes the entire world’s economic output as a circle. That circle is then subdivided […]

That was easy

This came in the email from Tom Kertscher: Are you available this afternoon or Wednesday to talk about a fact-check article I’m doing on Gov. Scott Walker’s statement that Wisconsin is a “blue” state? I’m aware, of course, that Wisconsin has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in each election since 1988. But I’d like […]