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The Gosnell Prize

The Gosnell Prize for Excellence in Political Methodology is awarded for the best work in political methodology presented at any political science conference during the preceding year.  
  • 2015 Sebastian Calonico (University of Miami), Matias Cattaneo (University of Michigan), and Rocio Titiunik (University of Michigan) for "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression-Discontinuity Designs" Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    Sebastian Calonico, Matias Cattaneo and Rocio Titiunik's "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression-Discontinuity Designs" advances political methodology with a new approach to estimating causal effects in regression discontinuity (RD) designs. Noting that confidence intervals for the local-linear polynomial estimated average treatment effect at the threshold tend to be invalid (and overly liberal) because of biases arising from common bandwidth selection procedures, Calonic, Cattaneo and Titiunik propose a bias-corrected estimator that not only improves performance asymptotically but also in small-samples (such as those common in small windows around the discontinuities which drive the RD design). The authors also propose an automatic bandwidth selection procedure that produces valid confidence intervals in wide variety of RD design settings. The creativity of the statistical theory combined with the practicality of the fast to compute and closed-form results has led this paper to change the analysis of RD designs even before it was published in Econometrica after presentation at the Political Methodology Summer Meeting of 2014.

    Previous Recipients
    • 2014 Margaret E. Roberts (University of California, San Diego), Brandon M. Stewart (Harvard University), Dustin Tingley (Harvard University), Christopher Lucas (Harvard University), Jetson Leder-Luis (California Institute of Technology), Shana Gadarian (Syracuse University), Bethany Albertson (University of Texas at Austin), and David Rand (Yale University) for "Topic Models for Open-Ended Survey Responses with Applications to Experiments"
    • 2013 Adam Glynn & Konstantin Kashin (Harvard University) for "Front-door Versus Back-door Adjustment with Unmeasured Confounding: Bias Formulas for Front-door and Hybrid Adjustments."
    • 2012 Thomas Gschwend, James Lo, and Sven-Oliver Proksch, University of Mannheim, for A Common Left-Right Scale for Voters and Parties in Europe.
    • 2011 Robert J. Franzese, Jr., University of Michigan, Jude C. Hays, University of Illinois, and Aya Kachi, University of Illinois, for Modeling History-Dependent Network Coevolution.
    • 2010 Jong Hee Park, University of Chicago for Joint Modeling of Dynamic and Cross-Sectional Heterogeneity: Introducing Hidden Markov Panel Models
    • 2009 John Freeman, University of Minnesota, and Jeff Gill, Washington University in St. Louis, for Dynamic Elicited Priors for Updating Covert Networks.
    • 2008 Kevin Quinn, Harvard, for What Can be Learned from a Simple Table? Bayesian Inference and Sensitivity Analysis for Causal Effects from 2x2 and 2x2xK Tables in the Presence of Unmeasured Confounding.
    • 2007 Alberto Abadie, Alexis Diamond, and Jens Hainmueller, Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science, for Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California's Tobacco Control Program.
    • 2006 Michael Penn Colaresi, Michigan State, Michael Crespin, University of Georgia, Burt L. Monroe, Michigan State, Kevin M. Quinn, Harvard University, and Dragomir R. Radev, University of Michigan, for An Automated Method of Topic-Coding Legislative Speech Over Time With Application to the 105th-108th U.S. Senate.
    • 2005 Alexis Diamond, Harvard University, and Jasjeet S. Sekhon, UC Berkeley, for Genetic Matching for Estimating Causal Effects: A General Multivariate Matching Method for Achieving Balance in Observational Studies.
    • 2004 Henry Brady, UC Berkeley, and John McNulty, UC Berkeley, for A “Natural Experiment” on the Costs of Voting: Methodologies for Analyzing Observational Data when the Treatment is Nearly Randomized.
    • 2003 Won-Ho Park, University of Michigan, for Estimation of Voter Transition Rates and Ecological Inference.
    • 2002 Janet Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University, and Suzanna De Boef, Pennsylvania State University, for A Monte Carlo Analysis for Recurrent Events Data.
    • 2001 Andrew D. Martin, Washington University, and Kevin M. Quinn, University of Washington, for Bayesian Learning about Ideal Points of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 1953-1999.
    • 2000 Curtis S. Signorino, University of Rochester, and Kuzey Yilmaz, University of Rochester, for Strategic Misspecification in Discrete Choice Models.
    • 1999 Nathaniel Beck, UC San Diego, Gary King, Harvard University, and Langche Zeng, Harvard University (on leave from GWU), for Improving Quantitative Studies of International Conflict: A Conjecture.
    • 1998 Dean Lacy, The Ohio State University, for A Theory of Nonseparable Preferences in Survey Responses.
    • 1997 Gary King, Harvard University, for A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem: Reconstructing Individual Behavior From Aggregate Data.
    • 1996
      • Nathaniel Beck, UCSD, and Richard Tucker, Indiana, for Conflict in Space and Time: Time-Series-Cross-Section Analysis with a Binary Dependent Variable.
      • Walter R. Mebane, Jr., Cornell University, and Jonathan Wand, Cornell University, for Markov Chain Models for Rolling Cross-section Data: How Campaign Events and Political Awareness Affect Vote Intentions and Partisanship in the United States and Canada.
    • 1995
      • Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University, Renee Smith, University of Rochester, for The Microfoundations of Aggregate Partisanship.
      • Bradley Palmquist, Harvard University, for Respecification Approaches to Ecological Inference: A Comparison of Control Variables and the Quadratic Model.

The Miller Prize

The Miller Prize for is awarded for the best work appearing in Political Analysis the preceding year.  
  • 2015 Jens Hainmueller (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Dan Hopkins (Georgetown University), and Teppi Yamamoto (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Causal Inference in Conjoint Analysis,. (Vol 22: 1-30)Show/Hide Citation


This excellent paper had the unanimous support of the selection committee for the Miller Prize, awarded to the best article published in Political Analysis in 2014. The paper develops a framework for defining and estimating causal effects in conjoint survey experiments. Whereas survey experimental treatments such as vignettes necessarily bundle many components, conjoint design independently manipulates distinct elements of those treatments, allowing analysts to assess and compare each elements effect on responses or choices. Rarely are our treatments unidimensional, yet it is often difficult to isolate the influence of particular dimensions or components of treatment. Conjoint analysis offers a promising tool in this regard, and it has therefore seen growing recent use in political science, in part due to the substantive work of co-authors on this paper. This method should not only improve how we study political questions, but should apply to numerous fields as well.

The paper makes several important methodological contributions that go well beyond what has been accomplished elsewhere, for example, in the marketing research literature in which conjoint analysis was initially developed. First, it formally analyzes the causal properties of conjoint analysis using the Neyman-Rubin potential outcomes framework. The authors use this framework to define a causal quantity of interest the average marginal component effect which is the marginal effect of each attribute averaged over the joint distribution of other attributes included in the experiment. They define effects for two different kinds of conjoint experimental designs, those in which respondents are forced to make a choice between two profiles (e.g. two candidates), and ratings-based outcomes in which respondents express degree of preference for one or more manipulated profiles. Second, they clearly explain how this effect can be identified under assumptions that either must hold due to the experimental design or are partially empirically testable. The paper then provides a series of diagnostic tests to assess these identification assumptions (for example, to test whether there are indeed no profile or attribute order effects). Importantly, in contrast to existing approaches in econometrics or marketing research that assume a particular behavioral model and define and estimate parameters in terms of that model approaches which have the advantage of statistical efficiency but the disadvantage that the assumed model must be true in this paper the identification results allow inferences about causal quantities without resorting to strong functional form and other assumptions. Finally, the authors illustrate the technique using two interesting examples, from studies of voting and immigration, and they offer sample R and Stata scripts as well as a graphical user interface for conjoint survey design.

In sum, the articles merit lies in (1) introducing a simple, design-based approach to analysis of an important experimental design; and (2) carefully discussing assumptions, advantages, examples, and especially limitations of the approach. We believe the paper will be widely used and widely cited, and deservingly so. We are happy to award the prize to this excellent piece of work.

Previous Recipients
  • 2014 Jake Bowers (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Mark Fredrickson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Costas Panagopoulos (Fordham University) Reasoning about Interference in Randomized Studies,. (Vol 21: 97-124)
  • 2013 Jens Hainmueller, MIT for Entropy Balancing for Causal Effects: A Multivariate Reweighting Method to Produce Balanced Samples in Observational Studies,(Vol 20: 25-46)
  • 2012 Devin Caughey and Jasjeet S. Sekhon both at the University of California, Berkeley for Elections and the Regression-Discontinuity Design: Lessons from Close U.S. House Races, 1942-2008. (Vol 18: 1-35)
  • 2011 Justin Grimmer, Stanford University for A Bayesian Hierarchical Topic Model for Political Texts: Measuring Expressed Agendas in Senate Press Releases. (Vol 19: 385-408)
  • 2010 Daniel Corstange, University of Maryland for Sensitive Questions, Truthful Answers? Modeling the List Experiment with LISTIT. (Vol 17: 45-63)
  • 2009 Muhammet Ali Bas, Harvard University, Curtis S. Signorino, University of Rochester, and Robert W Walker, Washington University in St. Louis for Statistical Backwards Induction: A Simple Method for Estimating Recursive Strategic Models. (Vol 16(1): 21-40)
  • 2008 Daniel E. Ho, Stanford University, Kosuke Imai, Princeton University, Gary King, Harvard University, Elizabeth A. Stuart, Johns Hopkins University, for Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reduced Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference. (Vol 15(3): 199-236)
  • 2007 Frederick J. Boehmke, University of Iowa, for The Influence of Unobserved Factors on Position Timing and Content in the NAFTA Vote. (Vol 14: 430-446)
  • 2006 Robert J, Franzese, Jr., University of Michigan, for Empirical Strategies for Various Manifestations of Multilevel Data. (Vol 13: 430-446)
  • 2005 David W. Nickerson, University of Notre Dame, for Scalable Protocols Offer Efficient Design for Field Experiments. (Vol 13: 233-252)
  • 2004 David K. Park, Andrew Gelman, Columbia University, and Joseph Bafumi, Columbia University for Bayesian Multilevel Estimation with Poststratification: State-Level Estimates from National Polls. (Vol 12: 375-385)
  • 2003 Jeffrey B. Lewis and Kenneth A. Schultz, UCLA, for Revealing Preferences: Empirical Estimation of a Crisis Bargaining Game with Incomplete Information. (Vol 11: 345-367)
  • 2002 Patrick Heagerty, University of Washington, Michael D. Ward, University of Washington, and Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, UCSD, for Windows of Opportunity: Window Subseries Empirical Variance Estimators in International Relations. (Vol 10: 304-317)
  • 2001 Keith T. Poole, University of Houston, for The Geometry of Multidimensional Quadratic Utility in Models of Parliamentary Roll Call Voting. (Vol 9: 211-226)
  • 2000 John Londregan, UCLA, for Estimating Legislator’s Preferred Points. (Vol 8: 35-56)

The John T. Williams Dissertation Prize

In recognition of John T. Williams’ contribution to graduate training, the John T. Williams Award has been established for the best dissertation proposal in the area of political methodology.  
  • 2015 Drew Dimmery, New York University for "Essays on Machine Learning and Causal Inference with Application to Nonprofits" Show/Hide Citation


Dimmery addresses an interesting and important substantive issue: nonprofit organizations inject a huge amount of funding into the political process through issue advocacy, yet we know relatively little about how they do so or what motivates individuals to participate on their behalf e.g., by donating money or forwarding a tweet. Dimmerys dissertation research involves a number of projects related to this issue. However, the main methodological innovation is in applying a multi-armed bandit approach to experimental design in order to allow for adaptive treatment regimes. This is particularly useful in cases like Dimmerys, where there are many possible treatments (e.g., types of appeals) under investigation. Dimmerys method allows for the experiment to be altered in real time, with no human intervention, based on observed responses. This has the potential to greatly reduce sample sizes needed to determine which of many possible treatments have a statistically significant effect.

Previous Recipients
  • 2014 Yiqing Xu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology for "Causal Inference with Time-Series Cross-Section Data with Applications to Chinese Political Economy"
  • 2013 Scott Cook, University of Pittsburgh, for The Contagion of Crises: Estimating Models of Endogenous and Interdependent Rare Events
  • 2012 Adriana Crespo-Tenorio, Washington University in St. Louis, for Three Papers on the Political Consequences of Oil Price Volatility
  • 2011 Matthew Blackwell, Harvard University for for Essays in Political Methodology and American Politics
  • 2010 Teppei Yamamoto, Princeton University for for Essays on Quantitative Methodology for Political Science
  • 2009 Xun Pang, Washington University in St. Louis, for A Bayesian Probit Hierarchical Model with AR(p) Errors and Non-nested Clustering: Studying Sovereign Creditworthiness and Political Institutions.
  • 2008 Justin Grimmer, Harvard University, for A Bayesian Hierarchical Topic Model for Political Texts: Measuring and Explaining Legislator's Express Agenda.
  • 2007 Arthur Spirling, University of Rochester, for Bringing Intuition to Fruition: 'Turning Points' and 'Power' in Political Methodology.
  • 2006 Roman Ivanchenko, The Ohio State University, for Interactions Between the Supreme-Court and Congress: A Different Look at the Decision-Making Process.

The SPM Poster Award

The Society for Political Methodology Poster Award is given for the best poster presented at the annual summer Methodology Meeting.  
  • 2015 Dean Knox, Massachusetts Institute of Technology for Identifying Peer Effects under Homophily with an Instrumental Variable: Patronage and Promotion in the Chinese Bureaucracy. Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    Knox's poster is impressive on several levels. First, to undertake his analysis, he has gathered---mostly via web-scraping---an extraordinarily rich data set on the relationship between Chinese local officials: including their educational backgrounds and histories in various positions. His primary concern is whether individuals are promoted within the bureaucracy due to their pre-existing connections to others that hold senior posts, or whether in fact, such career patterns can be explained by the less worrying notion of homophily: i.e. that similar people end up doing similar things due to their underlying preferences and latent types. This is, of course, a classical problem in network analysis. He suggests a clever design that relies on retirements---and thus empty slots into which individuals may be promoted---and that uses randomization inference to asses the relative contribution of network effects. Ultimately, he finds that being part of more prestigious networks causes mayors to have a greater probability of promotion. We found this to be a thoughtful, careful and interesting poster on a fascinating topic, supported by data that will bear fruit for both him and political science as a whole in the future. He richly deserves this award.

    Honorable Mention

  • 2015 Dorothy Kronick, Stanford University for Ecological Inference with Vote-Share Data.
Previous Recipients
  • 2014 Felipe Nunes, UCLA for A Bayesian Two-part Latent Class Model for Longitudinal Government Expenditure Data: Assessing the Impact of Vertical Political Alliances and Vote Support.
  • 2013 Scott Abramson, Princeton University for Production, Predation and the European State 1152-1789.
  • 2012 Brenton Kenkel, University of Rochester, for Logistic Regression Coefficients with Nonignorable Missing Outcomes.
  • 2010 Fernando Daniel (Danny) Hidalgo , University of California at Berkeley, for Digital Democracy: The Consequences of Electronic Voting Technology in Brazil..
  • 2009 Benjamin Lauderdale, Princeton University, for Does Congress Represent Public Opinion As It Is, or As It Might Be?.
  • 2009 Benjamin Goodrich, Harvard University, for Bringing Rank-Minimization Back In.
  • 2008 Xun Pang, Washington University in St Louis, for Binary and Ordinal Time Series with AR(p) Errors: Bayesian Model Determination for Latent High-Order Markovian Processes.
  • 2007
    • Daniel Hopkins, Harvard University, for Flooded Communities: Using the Post-Katrina Migration as a Quasi-Experiment.
    • Aya Kachi, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for The Empirical Implications of a Theoretical Model on Coalition Bargaining and Governmental Survival.
  • 2006 Jong Hee Park, Washington University in St Louis, for Modeling Structural Changes: Bayesian Estimation of Multiple Changepoint Models and State Space Models.
  • 2005
    • Michael Kellermann, Harvard University, for Bayesian estimation of ideal points in the British House of Commons using Early Day Motions.
    • Betsy Sinclair, CalTech, for Is It Better to Be First or Last? The Ballot Order Effect.
  • 2004
    • Marisa Abrajano, New York University, for All Style and No Substance? Campaign Advertising for Anglos and Latinos in the U.S.
    • Gabriel Lenz, Princeton, for Testing for Priming in Two-wave Panels: A Reanalysis of Three Studies Finds Little Evidence of Issue Opinion Priming and Some Evidence of Issue Opinion Change.
  • 2003
    • Hyeok Yong Kwon, Cornell University, for Has Economic Insecurity Produced Left-Wing Voters? A Markov Chain Approach
    • Sona Nadenichek Golder, New York University, for Pre-Electoral Coalition Formation
  • 2002 Sunshine Hillygus, Stanford University, for The Dynamics of Voter Decision-making in Election 2000.
  • 2001 Joshua D. Clinton, Stanford University, for Representation and the 106th Congress: Legislators’ Voting Behavior and their Geographic and Party Constituencies.
  • 2000 Jake Bowers, University of California, Berkeley, for Sample Design for Studying Congressional Elections.
  • 1999 Kevin Clarke, University of Michigan, for Testing Nonnested Models of the Democratic Peace.
  • 1998 Adam Berinsky, University of Michigan, for The Two Faces of Public Opinion.

The Political Methodology Career Achievement Award

  • 2015 Douglas Rivers, Stanford University Show/Hide Citation


    Citation: Professor Rivers numerous academic publications have covered enormous ranges substantively while breaking much new ground methodologically. In his earliest work (joint with Douglas Hibbs and Nicholas Vassilatos), Rivers and coauthors developed and applied nonlinear models of opinion and voting to estimate, among other things, the political costs to policymakers of inflation and unemployment. He continued from there substantively and methodologically, co-authoring influential pieces on retrospective and economic voting (joint with D. Roderick Kiewiet) and on public opinion and presidential influence in congress (with Nancy Rose). He wrote also around this time on incumbency advantage (with Morris Fiorina), on strategic voting in primaries (with Bruce Cain), and on sophisticated voting Congress (with Keith Krehbiel), contributing important methodological advances in those core areas of study in American politics.

    Between these important sets of early academic contributions, Professor Rivers (with Jeffrey Dubin) also created SST, Statistical Software Tools (1985), one of the earliest statistical-software packages for the PC, which quickly became the mainstay tool of its time for statistical analysis in political science (and around the social sciences).

    Meanwhile, Professor Rivers continued producing innovative academic work that had great impact on statistical methodology. The papers with Quang Vuong (J. Econometrics 1988: over 1200 cites & Econometrics J. 2002) introduced new estimation and testing methods for simultaneous probit models and model-selection methods for nonlinear dynamic models. The 1988 Journal of Econometrics paper is perhaps the first technical paper a political methodologist wrote to receive great appreciation and have major impact beyond political science. The 2004 APSR piece (with Jackman & Clinton: over 800 cites) on The Statistical Analysis of Roll-Call Data is likewise foundational in IRT applications to ideal-point estimation, introducing Bayesian procedure for estimation and inference for spatial models.

    In the past fifteen years, Professor Rivers has produced a number of the most important innovations in survey research. The broad impact of these innovations is clearly visible in the work of two companies that he founded, Knowledge Networks (now GfK Knowledge Networks) and Polimetrix (now YouGov Polimetrix). Each project leverages Professor Rivers unique combination of statistical insight and an ability to see the power of large scale opinion data years before many of his contemporaries. GfK Knowledge Networks (KN), which is widely viewed as the leading high-end Internet survey firm in America, combines best practices in recruiting a nationally representative survey with provision to survey participants of sufficient computing infrastructure, engaging activities, and monetary incentives to create and maintain a nationally representative sample of American households (with tens of thousands of participants at any point in time), known as the Knowledge Panel (for well over a decade now). The scale and quality of the Knowledge Panel enables measurement of the opinions of the nation as a whole as well as the opinions of important subpopulations. The Internet interface allows participants not just to respond to questions but also to react to visual stimuli, yielding real-time Knowledge Panel responses to, e.g., presidential debates or proposals to improve public health. Polimetrix (PM) similarly maintains a large survey panel of Americans, but, unlike KN, PM recruits subjects through multiple means that imply non-representative samples. Professor Rivers developed and implemented a range of population matching techniques see e.g., Combining Random & Non-Random Samples, Proceedings of the American Statistical Association 2003 (with Vicki Pineau and Daniel Slotwiner) that allow PM panels to simulate samples representative of the population. Whereas recruitment & maintenance of KN panels entail considerable expense, PM panels can simulate similar datasets at a fraction of the cost. PM, with Rivers population-matching techniques, provides unique research opportunities by enabling representative large-sample analysis of small areas (such as congressional districts). Through KN and PM and their associated methodological breakthroughs, Professor Rivers has done perhaps more than anyone to transform survey research in the last twenty years. Few, if any scholars, have ever had this kind of impact in the field of survey research.

    Professor Rivers has also been an early and influential member of the Society, has won the AAPOR Innovators Award and Research Business Reports Market Executive of the Year, and has served on the Boards of the American National Election Studies, the Roper Center, Preview Systems, and the CBS News Decision Desk..

  • 2014 John R. Freeman, University of Minnesota Show/Hide Citation


    Citation: We are pleased to announce that Professor John R. Freeman has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Political Methodology Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Previous award winners include Chris Achen, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Nathaniel Beck, Henry Brady, John Jackson, Gary King, and James Stimson.

    Professor Freeman has published 3 books, 2 book chapters, and more than 30 articles in highly ranked journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, and Political Analysis. He is the recipient of more than $700,000 in external grant funds. He is currently the John Black Johnston Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. His research makes important contributions to the subfield of political methodology and political science more broadly.

    Professor Freeman is one of the top political methodologists in the country working on time series analysis and Bayesian methods. He was an early proponent of the use of vector autoregression (VAR) models in Political Science, and wrote important papers on Granger causality, Markov models, temporal aggregation, unit root models, and Bayesian multiple equation time series models. His substantive contributions have been in the broad area of international political economy and IR, including work on exchange rates, macro-politics, and inter- and intra-state conflict. His research has led to innovations in our understanding of international conflict and reciprocity in superpower relations, the interaction of democratic accountability and markets, and the role of government policy in shaping markets.

    Professor Freeman has been a valuable member of the Society for Political Methodology, serving as the Society's fourth president from 1989 to 1991. He won the Robert H. Durr Award for the best paper applying quantitative methods to a substantive problem in 2006 and the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology in 2008. He edited volumes 4, 5, and 6 of Political Analysis, which was a critical time in the development of the journal following Jim Stimson's superb start. He served as host for the summer meeting of the Society twice. He was named as a Fellow to the APSA Political Methodology Section in 2008 and as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. He also won the Quincy Wright best book award from the International Studies Association in 1990.

  • 2013 Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University Show/Hide Citation


    Citation: We are pleased to announce that Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Political Methodology Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Previous award winners include Chris Achen, Nathaniel Beck, Henry Brady, John Jackson, Gary King, and James Stimson.

    Professor Box-Steffensmeier has published 5 books, 12 book chapters, and more than 40 articles in highly ranked journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. She is the recipient of more than 1.5 million dollars in external grant funds. She is currently the Vernal Riffe Chair of Political Science at Ohio State University. Her research makes important contributions to the subfield of political methodology and political science more broadly.

    Professor Box-Steffensmeier is one of the top political methodologists in the country working on time series analysis, publishing path-breaking research on error correction models, fractional integration, and ARFIMA models. She has made important contributions to several significant debates in American politics in her time series research, including macro-partisanship, the gender gap, elections and representation, and campaigns. She is also a leading methodologist on event history models. Her book, Event History Modeling: A Guide for Social Scientists, published by Cambridge University Press in 2004, has amassed over 900 citations in Google Scholar. She has published several other important articles on this topic as well, including such landmark publications as "Time is of the Essence: Event History Models in Political Science" (AJPS 1997), "Duration Models and Proportional Hazards in Political Science" (AJPS 2001), and "Durations Models for Repeated Events" (JOP 2002). Her work on statistics and methodology has significantly advanced our understanding of how to appropriately model political data over time and space.

    Professor Box-Steffensmeier has served important leadership roles in the Society for Political Methodology including President (2005-2007) and Vice President (2003-2005) of the Political Methodology Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and President of the Political Methodology Society (2005-2007). She was selected by her peers as an Inaugural Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology (2008). She won the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology in 1994 and 2002. She founded the Visions in Methodology organization to mentor women in the field of political methodology. She was recognized by the ICPSR Summer Program through a scholarship in her name. She currently serves as an associate editor for the Society's journal, Political Analysis, and served previously as an associate editor of the American Journal of Political Science (2006-2009).

  • 2012 Henry E. Brady, University of California, Berkeley Show/Hide Citation


    We are pleased to announce that Henry Brady (University of California, Berkeley) has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Political Methodology Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Previous award winners include Chris Achen, Nathaniel Beck, John Jackson, Gary King, and James Stimson. Professor Brady has published 10 books, 2 monographs, and over 70 journal articles and book chapters. He is currently Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and has directed the Survey Research Center at Berkeley. His research makes important contributions to the subfield of political methodology and political science more broadly.

    Professor Brady has made huge contributions in a variety of fields; we do him the injustice of only highlighting a few of most relevance to The Society. His early work on scaling put multi-dimensional scaling into a statistical framework (path breaking in 1985) and then dealt with critical issues related to scaling data where the scale scores were not interpersonally comparable and to the statistical assessment of ranking data, where respondents rank all candidates in a primary. The latter work was related to Professor Brady's research on American primaries, where he was interested in questions of how primary-election voters make choices in a low information environment and the role of strategic issues in that decision. This work was extended to election studies (particularly of Canada) where Professor Brady and collaborators took advantage of new technology (computer assisted telephone interviewing, new in 1990) to study the effect of emerging issues in elections and changes over the course of an electoral campaign. Professor Brady was one of the first scholars to work with the rolling cross-section design and take good advantage of that design by using techniques that allowed for almost overnight changes in parts of the survey instrument.

    In a different series of work, Professor Brady (along with Sidney Verba and Kay Schlozman) did landmark studies of American political participation. The methodological innovation was to study "serious participation" via surveys, a difficult thing to do since most Americans do not participate in a serious way. A huge survey (15,000 respondents) was conducted, of which about 2500 "serious participators" were selected for more-intensive interviews. This, and the more recent book by the same authors, allowed the authors to assess the enormous inequalities in American participation. Professor Brady (along with Cynthia Kaplan) also did innovative survey research in the former Soviet Union, providing a credible view of the dynamics of voting in the post-Soviet transition.

    Professor Brady (in collaboration with David Collier) has recently been involved in trying to marry the best parts of qualitative and quantitative analysis and to come up with a new paradigm for what is good research in political science. This has spawned an interesting dialogue and opened up many new avenues of discussion. Professor Brady has pursued this important task in the book with Collier, a co-edited methodological handbook, and his Presidential address to the American Political Science Association.

    Professor Brady has served important leadership roles in the Society for Political Methodology including President (2009-2010) and Vice President (2006-2007) of APSA and President of the Political Methodology Society (1992-1993). He won the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology in 2003-2004. Professor Brady was a central figure in the creation of the Society, helping to secure grant funding for the first two summer conferences. He was one of the co-PIs on the initial submission to the National Science Foundation that led to more sustained funding for the summer political methodology conferences. He has been a regular participant at the summer meetings since the Society's founding. He also serves on the editorial board for the Society's journal, Political Analysis.

  • 2011 Nathaniel (Neal) Beck, New York University Show/Hide Citation


    We are pleased to announce Neal Beck as the recipient of the 2011 Society for Political Methodology's Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Chris Achen, John Jackson, James Stimson, and Gary King were the first four award winners. All of these scholars gave the field new methodological tools, and all five built and sustained institutions for the field.

    Beck's work on time-series has improved the analysis of time series and panel data across the social sciences. His work with Jonathan Katz on panel-corrected-standard errors created now-standard parts of the toolkit of econometrics, and is included in the major econometric texts and packages. Beck made important arguments about serial correlation, that it is not just a nuisance term requiring correction to gain efficiency, but is a form of substantive misspecification. He pushed scholars to think about the dynamic process that yielded the serial correlation as an outcome.

    Beck edited Political Analysis from 1999 to 2003. Through a uniquely creative style, and incredible hard work, Beck made an enormous contribution as editor of Political Analysis. He revitalized the journal, convinced reviewers to contribute more effort, and took authors and their papers to the next level in terms of quality and effort. As a direct result of his work and others, Political Analysis is now the single most influential journal in the discipline. Beck was also the treasurer and vice president of the Society for Political Methodology, putting the institution on a firm financial footing, and is an ever present (and persistent!) voice for quality.

    Beck has won the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology twice. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an Inaugural Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology.

  • 2010 Gary King, Harvard University Show/Hide Citation


    We are pleased to announce the 2010 recipient of the Society for Political Methodology's Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes scholars who have made intellectual contributions that have given the field new ideas and new tools, while, at the same time, they have given the field sustaining institutions. This year's recipient is Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University.

    With Unifying Political Methodology, Gary began a careers' worth of pointing our way to new intellectual agendas. Designing Social Inquiry (1994) alone has been cited more than 3,000 times. It has had a profound influence on the conduct of social science, instilling a practice of scientific rigor in a generation of qualitative and quantitative political scientists.

    Gary's career has been filled with introducing, teaching, and then thoroughly mainstreaming new frame-shifting methodological approaches. His contributions have been so successful that methods that once seemed out of reach to many are part of the fabric of our work.

    Gary has approached his research with a sharp sense for how to improve the discipline's methods and for how to communicate those improvements to a wide audience. He has made field-changing contributions on a wide variety of methodological topics, including missing data, research design, causal inference, survey research, and ecological inference. He is the author of more than 115 journal articles, 15 public domain software packages, and 8 books, many of which are used both within and outside academia. He appears in the ISI's list of the most highly cited researchers in the social sciences. Gary has won more than 25 "best of" prizes and awards for his methodological work. His impact has spanned decades; he won the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper at the Midwest Political Science Association's annual conference in 1993, 1998, and 2005. Gary is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy, and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

    He is a very effective teacher and mentor. Scores of his students have gone onto careers at leading universities around the world. His mentoring has extended across the field, well beyond his students.

    Gary's institutional impact on the field comes not just from the way his ideas have helped form the intellectual toolkit for the field, but also from his informal and formal institution building. Perhaps the most important of these institutional contributions comes in the form of the norms Gary created and sustained for the profession. Gary changed the norms of the field via the provision of free, easy-to-use software. He taught a generation of methodologists by example; as a consequence of his work, it is now standard practice to make free (and now open-source) software available, making it possible for good ideas to become part of practice much more rapidly. Almost single-handedly, Gary created and made wide-spread the norm of replication in political science. In addition, he has worked tirelessly to foster data sharing across the social sciences. In his formal institutional work, Gary participated in the first Ann Arbor meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. He was influential in the 2006 Political Methodology report that guided the section in new directions. He was the founding editor of The Political Methodologist. He served as President of the Society for Political Methodology.

  • 2009 James A. Stimson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Show/Hide Citation


    Stimson led a major intellectual conceptualization of the field with hiswork on time-series and particularly on the analysis of pooled time-series and cross-sectional data and designs. His substantive work on issue evolution inspired his important AJPS paper on "Regression in Space and Time." This paper initiated a very large body of innovative methodological and applied work, much of which is still being explored. The reach of this work expands beyond Stimson's own field of American politics and is now a fixture in comparative politics and international relations, where the paper has been cited in scholarship ranging from work explaining the number of parties in Argentina to work exploring the determinants of international trade. His work with aggregate time-series data stimulated many important methodological and substantive discussions and papers and was one of the first uses of Box-Jenkins time series methods in Political Science. Stimson originated and provided definition and direction for the use and understanding of these methods in the field.

    His work with Edward Carmines on issue evolution and the long-term connection between parties, the mass public, and representation has had a tremendous impact. His solo work on the nature of public opinion and public policy mood reshaped how scholars think about public opinion. His collaboration with Michael MacKuen and Robert Erikson on The Macro Polity challenged the conventional wisdom on partisanship and extant understandings about the link between economics and politics. His work on public mood led him to create the time series measurement algorithm CALC which has been used by numerous other scholars for their own applications. For The Macro Polity, Stimson and his collaborators were early pioneers in work with the DYMIMIC estimator to model the dynamic link between time series with multiple indicators. On the measurement side, his public mood scale is the most widely used measure of public liberalism across time at the macro-level.

    Stimson's work has been widely recognized and has received numerous prestigious awards. His book, Issue Evolution, with Carmines received the Kammerer Award in 1990 as the APSA's best book in American politics; Tides of Consent received the 2006 Goldsmith Prize from the Shorenstein Center at the John F. Kennedy School for the best book on politics, the press and public affairs; in 1996 he shared the Heinz Eulau prize for the best paper published in the APSR the previous year; and in 2005 he shared the McGraw-Hill Award for the best paper published on law and courts. In 2000 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His scholarly work is widely praised, and the breadth of topics is impressive.

    Stimson has served the Society in almost every way possible. Jim attended the first Summer Political Methodology Workshop in Ann Arbor in July, 1984. This workshop laid the foundation for the Society for Political Methodology and the now twenty-six year long series of summer conferences that have grown from fifteen to three hundred participants. He served as the organization's president from 1995-1997.

    Stimson is also responsible for one of the Society's most important institutions. He was the original editor of our very successful journal, Political Analysis. His work to establish Political Analysis as a major journal at a time when the organization barely existed and then his editorial leadership for the first three issues created the journal we now have and value. His vision for the journal and his incredible energy, patience, and persistence are evident in the journal's reputation and impact.

    Finally, Stimson has been a tremendously successful mentor and collaborator in the field.

    We are so grateful to Stimson for all of this work.

  • 2008 John Jackson, University of Michigan. Show/Hide Citation


    John was at the forefront in the establishment of the field. Long before most were aware of what political methodology was about, John was extremely active, bringing scholars together and laying the foundation for work to come. John was publishing high quality statistical analyses in the APSR in the early 1970s, and his influential text "Statistical Methods for Social Scientists," coauthored with Eric Hanushek in 1977, is still considered one of the best. Likewise, John's pioneering empirical work showed that party identification need not be seen as an essentially permanent identity learned in childhood. Instead, John demonstrated that partisanship also reflects an accumulation of citizens' adult experiences with the parties -- a perspective that has been built on by many empirical and theoretical scholars, and that has become the most widely accepted view of how partisan identity is formed.

    John's record of service to the subfield is equally impressive. He served as the 2nd President of the Society for Political Methodology from 1985-1987, and was instrumental in securing funding for the early meetings from the National Election Studies and later the National Science Foundation. Moreover, John has always been (and continues to be) known for reaching out to graduate students, spending time with them at them at the Political Methodology Meetings and assisting with their integration into the discipline. And, John has been instrumental in the maturation of the subfield in another way, as he has led the charge when it comes to the forging of ties between political methodologists and methodologists in other fields (both in his own collaborations and in institutions) this has been of fundamental importance to the bettering of the subfield.

    John's work has always brought methodological insight to important substantive questions, and he continues to publish state-of-the-art work, having recently co-authored a book on Polish elections ("The Political Economy of Poland's Transition," with Jacek Klich and Krystyna Poznanska). In addition, John is still extremely active in the Society for Political Methodology, being both a regular at the summer meetings and a mentor to many. This year, John's career achievements were recognized in his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, confirming what one eloquent nominator noted: "John is an icon for political methodology."

  • 2007 Christopher H. Achen, Princeton University. Show/Hide Citation


    Christopher H. Achen is the inaugural recipient of the Career Achievement Award of the Society for Political Methodology. Achen is the Roger William Straus Professor of Social Sciences in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics, at Princeton University. He was a founding member and first president of theSociety for Political Methodology, and has held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, and Yale University. He has a Ph.D. from Yale, and was an undergraduate at Berkeley.

    In the words of one of the many colleagues writing to nominate Achen for this award, “Chris more orless made the field of political methodology”. In a series of articles and books now spanning some thirty years, Achen has consistently reminded us of the intimate connection between methodological rigor and substantive insights in political science. To summarize (and again, borrowing from another colleague’s letter of nomination), Achen’s methodological contributions are “invariably practical, invariably forceful, and invariably presented with clarity and liveliness”. In a series of papers in 1970s, Chris basically showed how us how to do political methodology, elegantly demonstrating how methodological insights are indispensable to understanding a phenomenon as central to political science as representation. Achen’s “little green Sage book”, Interpreting and Using Regression (1982) has remained in print for 25 years, and has provided generations of social scientists with a compact yet rigorous introduction to the linear regression model (the workhorse of quantitative social science), and is probably the most widely read methodological book authored by a political methodologist. Achen’s 1983 review essay “Towards Theories of Data: The State of Political Methodology” set an agenda for the field that still powerfully shapes both the practice of political methodology and the field’s self-conception. Achen’s 1986 book The Statistical Analysis of Quasi-Experiments provides a brilliant exposition of the statistical problems stemming from non-random assignment to “treatment”, a topic very much in vogue again today. Achen’s 1995 book with Phil Shivley, Cross-Level Inference, provides a similarly clear and wise exposition of the issues arising when aggregated data are used to make inferences about individual behavior (“ecological inference”). A series of papers on party identification -- an influential 1989 conference paper, “Social Psychology, Demographic Variables, and Linear Regression: Breaking the Iron Triangle in Voting Research” (Political Behavior, 1992) and “Parental Socialization and Rational Party Identification” (Political Behavior, 2002) -- have helped formalize the “revisionist” theory of party identification outlined by Fiorina in his 1981 Retrospective Voting book, and now the subject of a lively debate among scholars of American politics.

    In addition to being a productive and extremely influential scholar, Achen has an especially distinguished record in training graduate students in methodology, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. His students at Berkeley in the late 1970s and early 1980s included Larry Bartels (now at Princeton), Barbara Geddes (UCLA), Steven Rosenstone (Minnesota), and John Zaller (UCLA), among many others. His students at Michigan in the 1990s include Bear Braumoeller (now at Harvard), Ken Goldstein (Wisconsin), Simon Hug (Texas-Austin), Anne Sartori (Princeton), and Karen Long Jusko (Stanford). In addition to being the founding president of the Society for Political Methodology, Chris has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, has served as a member of the APSA Council, has won campus-wide awards for both research and teaching, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Statistical Software Award

The Best Statistical Software Award recognizes individual(s) for developing statistical software that makes a significant research contribution.
  • 2015 : Dustin Tingley (Harvard University), Teppei Yamamoto (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kentaro Hirose (Princeton University), Luke Keele (Pennsylvania State University), and Kosuke Imai (Princeton University) for the R package mediation. Show/Hide Citation


Many social scientists are increasingly interested in identifying the role of particular causal mechanisms. Recent work on causal mediation analysis has developed a new set of procedures for identifying causal mechanisms using minimal assumptions within the potential outcomes framework \citep{mediate1,mediate2,mediate3,mediate4}. The ``mediation'' R package, described in ``mediation: R Package for Causal Mediation Analysis,'' ({\em Journal of Statistical Software} 2014: Dustin Tingley, Harvard; Teppei Yamamoto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kentaro Hirose, Princeton; Luke Keele, Pennsylvania State University; and Kosuke Imai, Princeton), provides an extensive set of tools for performing this analysis. This software allows users to investigate different causal mechanisms while employing different types of data and statistical models, to explore the effect of relaxing identification assumptions, and to examine model-based inference as well as design-based inference, embracing both observational as well as experimental research. A wide range of mediator models may be used, including generalized linear models, ordered categorical models, generalized additive models, quantile regression models, and survival models. To probe the robustness of results to violations of the causal assumptions, the package also implements sensitivity analysis. The R package is available via CRAN and is widely used.

Previous Recipients
  • 2014 : James Honaker (Harvard University), Gary King (Harvard University), Matt Blackwell (University of Rochester) for Amelia II
  • 2013 : Andrew Martin (Washington University, St. Louis), Kevin Quinn (U. California, Berkeley), Jonghee Park (Seoul National University) for MCMCpack.
  • 2012 Walter Mebane, University of Michigan, and Jasjeet Sekhon, University of California, Berkeley for genoud: (Genetic Optimization using Derivatives)..
  • 2011 Norman Nie, Stanford University, Dale Bent, Athabasca University and Hadlai Hull, SPSS Inc. for SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).
  • 2010 Jeffrey Dubin, Pacific Economics Group, and Doug Rivers, Stanford University, for SST (Statistical Software Tools).
  • 2009 Keith Poole, University of California, San Diego, and Howard Rosenthal, New York University, for NOMINATE.

The Political Methodology Emerging Scholar Award

This is designed to honor a young researcher, within ten years of their degree, who is making notable contributions to the field of political methodology.
  • 2015 Justin Grimmer, Stanford University Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    The winner of the 2014 Society for Political Methodology Emerging Scholar Award is Justin Grimmer from Stanford University. The committee received many excellent nominations and we thank our many colleagues who suggested such an excellent pool of deserving candidates. After many detailed discussions and having settled on a criteria of notable contributions that might best be captured by a summary measure that weights the quality, quantity, and impact of the work to date unconditional on the date of the Ph.D. the committee was unanimous in its choice of Justin Grimmer.

    In our opinion, Grimmer is at the leading edge of a push by younger scholars into "audacious" data collection in American politics, bringing new tools from computer science and machine learning to harvest vast quantities of data, almost all of it beginning life as text (in electronic format) and to categorize/classify the content of that data, making it a vital component of new research programs, or breathing new life into established research programs. His 2013 Political Analysis article --Text as Data: The Promise and Pitfalls of Automatic Content Analysis Methods for Political Documents for example, (which was awarded the 2013 Editors Choice award) is an excellent introduction for political scientists interested in learning about methods useful for analyzing textual data. His 2010 Warren Miller winning paper published in Political Analysis -- A Bayesian Hierarchical Topic Model for Political Texts: Measuring Expressed Agendas in Senate Press Releases delves more specifically into one approach and it nicely demonstrates how a hierarchical model applied to textual analysis can help improve our ability to characterize and compare important and politically relevant patterns in political speech. His 2011 Political Analysis article An Introduction to Bayesian Inference Via Variational Approximations is also a nice introduction to Machine Learning tools that have been used in other disciplines and which are only just beginning to appear in political science.

    Importantly, the methodological tools that Justin has been a leading advocate for has had an important impact on our substantive understanding of the representational relationship between elected officials and their constituents. This is evident not only because of Justins own work which is a rigorous, data-based recasting of Fennos Homestyle and Mayhews categorizations of congressional behavior that resulted in being awarded the 2014 Richard J. Fenno, Jr. Prize for the best book in legislative studies published in 2013 but also because of his work advocating and introducing methods that will allow other scholars to both build upon this work and also it to other contexts.

Previous Recipients
  • 2014 Jens Hainmueller, Stanford University
  • 2013 Luke J. Keele, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2012 Jake Bowers, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • 2011 Kosuke Imai, Princeton University,

The Political Analysis Outstanding Reviewer Award

The Political Analysis Outstanding Reviewer Award recognizes individuals who have provided exemplary assistance to Political Analysis during the previous year. Outstanding Reviewers are those who provide excellent, timely and productive feedback for authors who have submitted manuscripts to Political Analysis. Outstanding Reviewers are also those who frequently review for the journal, and who provide the Editors with productive advice about the submissions they review.

Recipients of the Political Analysis Outstanding Reviewer Award are recognized annually at the American Political Science Association conference, and in recognition of their service to the profession notification of award is provided by the Editors to the recipient's department chair.
  • 2015 Matt Lebo, State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • 2015 Dorothy Kronick, Stanford University
  • 2014 David Darmofal, University of South Carolina
  • 2014 John Freeman, University of Minnesota
  • 2014 Brandon Stewart, Harvard University
  • 2013 Jake Bowers, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • 2013 Teppei Yamamoto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Society for Political Methodology Excellence in Mentoring Award

The Society for Political Methodology Excellence in Mentoring Award honors members of the Society for Political Methodology who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring and advising graduate and / or undergraduate students---particularly those from underrepresented groups.

  • 2015 : Lonna Rae Atkeson, University of New Mexico, and Jonathan Kropko, (University of Virginia) Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    Dr. Lonna Rae Atkeson, University of New Mexico

    The committee wishes to recognize Dr. Atkeson, for her longstanding work serving as a mentor and advisor to a diverse set of students. Her commitment to her students is clear and significant; Dr. Atkeson recognizes that mentoring is important in and out of the classroom, and that mentoring continues long after students receive their degrees. In the words of one of many who wrote to nominate Dr. Atkeson for this award Dr. Atkeson makes herself available to students and truly commits to helping students produce quality research ... her students are forever indebted to her for her mentorship and guidance, and we are forever grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her.

    Dr. Jonathan Kropko, University of Virginia

    The committee commends Dr. Jonathan Kropko for his efforts to mentor students at the University of Virginia, and for his work to develop strong programs in political methodology at his university. A nominator wrote that Dr. Kropko encourages creative and theoretically driven empirical innovation, and he is passionate about improving the quality of empirical work done in political science. Dr. Kropkos efforts, as an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia, are a wonderful example of the excellent mentoring done by junior faculty in our discipline, and we hope that his example encourages other junior faculty to also serve as mentors.