Monotone Comparative Statics in Models of Politics: A Method for Simplifying Analysis and Enhancing Empirical Content
Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan
We elucidate a powerful yet simple method for deriving comparative statics conclusions for a wide variety of models: Monotone Comparative Statics (Milgrom and Shannon, 1994). Monotone comparative static methods allow researchers to extract robust, substantive empirical implications from formal models that can be tested using ordinal data and simple non-parametric tests. They also replace a diverse range of more technically diącult mathematics (facilitating richer, more realistic models), a large set of assumptions that are hard to understand or justify substantively (highlighting the political intuitions underlying a model's results), and a complicated set of methods for extracting implications from models. We present an accessible introduction to the central monotone comparative statics results and a series of practical tools for using these techniques in applied models (with reference to original sources, when relevant). Throughout we demonstrate the techniques with examples drawn from political science.
empirical implications of theoretical models
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