When do stories work, Process tracing, and Connections between qualitative and quantitative research

When do stories work, Process tracing, and Connections between qualitative and quantitative research Posted by Andrew on 11 January 2017, 9:45 am Jonathan Stray writes: I read your “when do stories work” paper (with Thomas Basbøll) with interest—as a journalist stories are of course central to my field. I wondered if you had encountered the “process tracing” literature in political science? It attempts to make sense of stories as “case studies” and there’s a nice logic of selection and falsification that has grown up around this. This article by David Collier is a good overview of process tracing, with a neat typology of story-based theory tests. Besides being a good paper generally, section 6 of this paper by James Mahoney and Gary Goertz discusses why you want non-random case/story selection in certain types of qualitative research. This paper by Jack Levy…
Original Post: When do stories work, Process tracing, and Connections between qualitative and quantitative research

The Lure of Luxury

From the sister blog, a response to an article by psychologist Paul Bloom on why people own things they don’t really need: Paul Bloom argues that humans dig deep, look beyond the surface, and attend to the nonobvious in ways that add to our pleasure and appreciation of the world of objects. I [Susan] wholly agree with that analysis. My objection, however, is that he does not go far enough. There is a dark side to our infatuation by and obsession with the past. Our focus on historical persistence reveals not just appreciation and pleasure, but also bigotry and cruelty. Bloom’s story is incomplete without bringing these cases to light. All the examples that Bloom discusses involve what we might call positive contagion—an object gains value because of its link to a beloved individual, history, or brand. This positive glow…
Original Post: The Lure of Luxury

Field Experiments and Their Critics

Seven years ago I was contacted by Dawn Teele, who was then a graduate student and is now a professor of political science, and asked for my comments on an edited book she was preparing on social science experiments and their critics. I responded as follows: This is a great idea for a project. My impression was that Angus Deaton is in favor of observational rather than experimental analysis; is this not so? If you want someone technical, you could ask Ed Vytlacil; he’s at Yale, isn’t he? I think the strongest arguments in favor of observational rather than experimental data are: (a) Realism in causal inference. Experiments–even natural experiments–are necessarily artificial, and there are problems in generalizing beyond them to the real world. This is a point that James Heckman has made. (b) Realism in research practice. Experimental data…
Original Post: Field Experiments and Their Critics

About that claim in the Monkey Cage that North Korea had “moderate” electoral integrity . . .

Yesterday I wrote about problems with the Electoral Integrity Project, a set of expert surveys that are intended to “evaluate the state of the world’s elections” but have some problems, notably rating more than half of the U.S. states in 2016 as having lower integrity than Cuba (!) and North Korea (!!!) in 2014. I was distressed to learn that these shaky claims regarding electoral integrity have been promoted multiple times on the Monkey Cage, a blog with which I am associated. Here, for example, is that notorious map showing North Korea as having “moderate” electoral integrity in 2014. The post featuring North Korea has the following note: The map identifies North Korea and Cuba as having moderate quality elections. The full report online gives details on how to interpret this. It does not mean that these countries are electoral…
Original Post: About that claim in the Monkey Cage that North Korea had “moderate” electoral integrity . . .

“Constructing expert indices measuring electoral integrity” — reply from Pippa Norris

This morning I posted a criticism of the Electoral Integrity Project, a survey organized by Pippa Norris and others to assess elections around the world.Norris sent me a long response which I am posting below as is. I also invited Andrew Reynolds, the author of the controversial op-ed, to contribute to the discussion. Constructing expert indices measuring electoral integrity Pippa Norris Harvard University and University of Sydneywww.electoralintegrityproject.com For the last five years, the Electoral Integrity Project, an independent research project based at Harvard and Sydney Universities, has conducted the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity global study. Following the November 8th 2016 elections, this method was applied to compare the electoral integrity of 50 U.S. States plus DC (PEI-US-2016), with the survey gathering responses from over 700 political scientists. The results were published by the EIP team in two blog reports comparing…
Original Post: “Constructing expert indices measuring electoral integrity” — reply from Pippa Norris

About that bogus claim that North Carolina is no longer a democracy . . .

Nick Stevenson directed me to a recent op-ed in the Raleigh News & Observer, where political science professor Andrew Reynolds wrote: In 2005, in the midst of a career of traveling around the world to help set up elections in some of the most challenging places on earth . . . my Danish colleague, Jorgen Elklit, and I designed the first comprehensive method for evaluating the quality of elections around the world. . . . In 2012 Elklit and I worked with Pippa Norris of Harvard University, who used the system as the cornerstone of the Electoral Integrity Project. Since then the EIP has measured 213 elections in 153 countries and is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating how free and fair and democratic elections are across time and place. . . . So far so…
Original Post: About that bogus claim that North Carolina is no longer a democracy . . .

Migration explaining observed changes in mortality rate in different geographic areas?

We know that the much-discussed increase in mortality among middle-aged U.S. whites is mostly happening among women in the south. In response to some of that discussion, Tim Worstall wrote: I [Worstall] have a speculative answer. It is absolutely speculative: but it is also checkable to some extent. Really, I’m channelling my usual critique of Michael Marmot’s work on health inequality in the UK. Death stats don’t measure lifespans of people from places, they measure life spans of people who die in places. So, if there’s migration, and selectivity in who migrates where, then it’s not the inequality between places that might explain differential lifespans but that selection in migration. Similarly, here in the American case. We know that Appalachia, the Ozarks and the smaller towns of the mid west are emptying out. But it’s those who graduate high school,…
Original Post: Migration explaining observed changes in mortality rate in different geographic areas?

“Kevin Lewis and Paul Alper send me so much material, I think they need their own blogs.”

In my previous post, I wrote: Kevin Lewis and Paul Alper send me so much material, I think they need their own blogs. It turns out that Lewis does have his own blog. His latest entry contains a bunch of links, starting with this one: Populism and the Return of the “Paranoid Style”: Some Evidence and a Simple Model of Demand for Incompetence as Insurance against Elite Betrayal Rafael Di Tella & Julio Rotemberg NBER Working Paper, December 2016 Abstract:We present a simple model of populism as the rejection of “disloyal” leaders. We show that adding the assumption that people are worse off when they experience low income as a result of leader betrayal (than when it is the result of bad luck) to a simple voter choice model yields a preference for incompetent leaders. These deliver worse material outcomes…
Original Post: “Kevin Lewis and Paul Alper send me so much material, I think they need their own blogs.”

p=.03, it’s gotta be true!

p=.03, it’s gotta be true! Posted by Andrew on 24 December 2016, 9:39 am Howie Lempel writes: Showing a white person a photo of Obama w/ artificially dark skin instead of artificially lightened skin before asking whether they support the Tea Party raises their probability of saying “yes” from 12% to 22%. 255 person Amazon Turk and Craigs List sample, p=.03. Nothing too unusual about this one. But it’s particularly grating when hyper educated liberal elites use shoddy research to decide that their political opponents only disagree with them because they’re racist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/13/how-psychologists-used-these-doctored-obama-photos-to-get-white-people-to-support-conservative-politics/ https://news.stanford.edu/2016/05/09/perceived-threats-racial-status-drive-white-americans-support-tea-party-stanford-scholar-says/ Hey, they could have a whole series of this sort of experiment: – Altering the orange hue of Donald Trump’s skin and seeing if it affects how much people trust the guy . . . – Making Hillary Clinton fatter and seeing if that somehow makes her…
Original Post: p=.03, it’s gotta be true!

Sethi on Schelling

Rahul says: I loved Schelling’s writing. His thought experiments on negotiation gave such fascinating insights even to a total layman like me. Personally, I think that’s one hallmark of a great writer / thinker: To produce work whose greatness is evident even to a virtual novice to the field without needing a mastery of the field to appreciate.
Original Post: Sethi on Schelling