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Below results based on the criteria 'Multinomial Logit'
Total number of records returned: 8
Operationalizing and Testing Spatial Theories of Voting
Quinn, Kevin M.
Martin, Andrew D.
Spatial models of voting behavior provide the foundation for a substantial number of theoretical results. Nonetheless, empirical work involving the spatial model faces a number of potential difficulties. First, measures of the latent voter and candidate issue positions must be obtained. Second, evaluating the fit of competing statistical models of voter choice is often more complicated than previously realized. In this paper, we discuss precisely these issues. We argue that confirmatory factor analysis applied to mass-level issue preference questions is an attractive means of measuring voter ideal points. We also show how party issue positions can be recovered using a variation of this strategy. We go on to discuss the problems of assessing the fit of competing statistical models (multinomial logit vs. multinomial probit) and competing explanations (those based on spatial theory vs. those derived from other theories of voting such as sociological theories). We demonstrate how the Bayesian perspective not only provides computational advantages in the case of fitting the multinomial probit model, but also how it facilitates both types of comparison mentioned above. Results from the Netherlands and Denmark suggest that even when the computational cost of multinomial probit is disregarded, the decision whether to use multinomial probit (MNP) or multinomial logit (MNL) is not clear-cut.
The Spatial Model and Specification of Choice Models
Alvarez, R. Michael
The spatial model has been in use in political science for close to 30 years, and in that period it has achieved a place of prime importance as our paradigm of the process of candidate-choice used by voters. For much of this time political scientists have estimated models of candidate-choice using binary logit or probit, even in cases where there were more than two choices facing voters. Recently discrete choices models beyond binary logit and probit have been making their way into use in political science with increasing frequency. The properties of these models, and their relationship to the spatial model, are frequently misunderstood. This paper demonstrates four essential points. First, the popular multinomial logit model is in fact equivalent to running a series of binary logit models. It involves nothing more than pairwise comparisons of the choices. Second, despite containing no information about the choices, the multinomial logit model provides reduced form estimates of the effect of characteristics of choices that are equivalent to the estimates of such effects provided by the conditional logit model - which does utilize information about the characteristics of the choices. Third, the multinomial logit model cannot offer any inferences as to effects of changing the characteristics of the choices, or introducing additional choices; whereas the conditional logit model can offer such inferences. Fourth, the classic spatial model has a flaw in multi-candidate settings that has been overlooked, with more than two candidates the spatial model explicitly contradicts an aspect of voter behaviour widely believed to be prevalent: the tendency of voters to view certain candidates as `similar' alternatives, and thus for the presence of additional candidates to effect asymettrically the probability of existing candidates being chosen.
When Politics and Models Collide: Estimating Models of Multi-PartyElections
Alvarez, R. Michael
Theory: The spatial model of elections can better be represented by using conditional logit than by multinomial logit. The spatial model, and random utility models in general, suffer from a failure to adequately consider the substitutability of candidates sharing similar or identical issue positions. Hypotheses: Multinomial logit is not much better than successive applications of binomial logit. Conditional logit allows for considering more interesting political questions than does multinomial logit. The spatial model may not correspond to voter decision-making in multiple-candidate settings. Multinomial probit allows for a relaxation of the IIA condition and this should improve estimates of the effect of adding or removing parties. Methods: Comparisons of binomial logit, multinomial logit, conditional logit, and multinomial probit on simulated data and survey data from a three-party election. Results: Multinomial logit offers almost no benefits over binomial logit. Conditional logit is capable of examining movements by parties, whereas multinomial logit is not. Multinomial probit performs better than conditional logit when considering the effects of altering the set of choices available to voters.
Coordinating Voting in American Presidential and House Elections
Mebane, Walter R.
pivotal voter theorem
I describe and estimate a probabilistic voting model designed to test whether individuals' votes for President and for the House of Representatives are coordinated with respect to two cutpoints on a single spatial dimension, in the way that Alesina and Rosenthal's pivotal voter theorem suggests they should be. In my model the cutpoints are random variables about which each individual has a subjective probability distribution. Each person's probabilistic coordinating voting behavior occurs relative to the cutpoints' expected values under the distribution. The model implements the idea the pattern of coordination depends on an individual's evaluation of the economy. The economic bias in the coordinating pattern implies that voters punish a Democratic President for success in improving the economy. The economically successful Democratic President can avoid losses only if the voters who rate the economy as having improved also believe that the policy position of the Democratic party has shifted to the right.
Have Turnout Effects Really Declined? Testing the Partisan Implications of Marginal Voters
In this paper, we review the theoretical foundations of the debate about whether higher election turnout advantages left parties, suggest a method of assessing the effects of turnout within a single election, and provide evidence from four U.S. elections that the partisan effects of turnout are contingent on the strength and polarity of the short-term forces. Our methodological approach to addressing whether the Democrats would have benefited from higher turnout (and whether the Republicans would have benefited from lower turnout) in a given election is to employ a new type of simulation based on multinomial logit estimates of the choices made by individual citizens. Our substantive approach is similar to Lacy and Burden (1999), in that we posit that U.S. citizens have three unordered choices in each election: vote Democratic, vote Republican, or abstain. We first estimate vote choice (including the abstention category) as an unordered multinomial logit function of standard variables associated with both candidate preference and the likelihood of voting. From that estimation, we derive probabilities for each respondent's selection of each of the three choices (abstain, vote Democratic, or vote Republican). From those probabilities, we simulate several levels of turnout. Higher turnout is simulated by progressively adding to the pool of voters actual abstainers with the lowest probability of abstaining of those remaining in the pool of abstainers. Whereas lower turnout is simulated by progressively subtracting from the electorate actual voters with the highest probability of abstaining. Our results across the four elections provide partial support for both the conventional SES-based model and the alternative defection-based model, though neither model's predictions are completely borne out empirically. As predicted by the conventional model, we find that the electorate has a greater Democratic tilt at higher levels of turnout, although that relationship has significantly weakened over time.
Turnout Effects on the Composition of the Electorate: A Multinomial Logit Simulation of the 2000 Presidential Election
Conventional wisdom among pundits and some scholars posits that higher turnout should benefit liberal parties, since lower socioeconomic classes comprise a disproportionate share of the nonvoting population. Empirical tests of this prediction across elections have produced a wide variety of results, ranging from support for the conventional wisdom to suggestions that Republicans benefit from higher turnout to null findings. In this paper, we provide a simulation of the possible impact of increasing or decreasing turnout in a single election. Using data from the 2000 American National Election Study, we find that Gore would have benefitted slightly from higher turnout and would have been harmed slightly by lower turnout, but the overall magnitude of the effects of turnout on Gore's share of the two party vote is small. At higher levels of turnout, Democrats comprise a larger share of the electorate, but they also have a higher defection rate.
Issue Voting and Ecological Inference
Thomsen, Soren R.
This article proposes a unifying framework for individual and aggregate voting behavior. The proposed individual level model is a version of the multinomial logit model that applies to both issue voting, ideological voting and normative voting providing a close fit to survey data. The aggregate model is derived by using the binary logit model as an approximation to the multinomial logit model. The aggregate model is useful for modeling electoral change and for identification of homogenous political regions. Further, the unifying framework derives a method for ecological inference that applies to large tables and gives estimates of voter transitions close to survery results.
Is There a Gender Gap in Fiscal Political Preferences
Alvarez, R. Michael
McCaffery, Edward J.
This paper examines the relationship between attitudes on potential uses of the budget surplus and gender. Survey results show relatively weak support overall for using a projected surplus to reduce taxes, with respondents much likelier to prefer increased social spending on education or social security. There is a significant gender gap with men being far more likely than women to support tax cuts or paying down the national debt. Given a menu of particular types of tax cuts, women are marginally more likely to favor child-care relief or working poor tax credits whereas men are marginally more likely to favor capital gains reduction or tax rate cuts. When primed that the tax laws are biased against two-worker families, men significantly change their preferences, moving from support for general tax rate cuts to support for working poor tax relief, but not to child-care relief. One of the strongest results to emerge is that women are far more likely than men not to express an opinion or to confess ignorance about fiscal matters. Both genders increase their ``no opinion'' answer in the face of priming, but men more so than women. Further research will explore this no opinion/uncertainty aspect.