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Below results based on the criteria 'theory'
Total number of records returned: 40

The Statistical Analysis of Roll Call Data
Clinton, Joshua
Jackman, Simon
Rivers, Doug

Uploaded 05-07-2003
Keywords spatial voting model
item response theory
roll call voting
Bayeisan simulation
Abstract We develop a Bayesian procedure for estimation and inference for spatial models of roll call voting. Our appraoch is extremely flexible, applicable to any legislative setting, irrespective of size, the extremism of legislative voting histories, or the number of roll calls available for analysis. Our model is easily extended to let other sources of information inform the analysis of roll call data, such as the number and nature of the underlying dimensions, the presence of party whipping, the determinants of legislator preferences, or the evolution of the legislative agenda; this is especially helpful since it is gernally inappropriate to use estimates of extant methods (usually generated under assumptions of sincere voting) to test models embodying alternative assumptions (e.g., log-rolling). A Bayesian approach also provides a coherent framework for estimation and inference with roll call data that eludes extant methods; moreover, via Bayesian simulation methods, it is straightforward to generate uncertainty assessments or hypothesis tests concerning any auxiliary quantity of interest or to formally compare models. In a series of examples we show how our method is easily extended to accommodate theoretically interesting modesl of legislative behavior. Our goal is to move roll call analysis away from pure measurement or description towards a tool for testing substantive theories of legislative behavior.

A Process Control Model of Legislative Productivity: Testing the Effects of Congressional Reform
Gill, Jeff
Thurber, James A.

Uploaded 08-08-1997
Keywords Queueing Theory
Software Simulation
Congressional Reform
Productivity Equilibrium Model
Committee Efficiency
Abstract We examine the effects of congressional reform on legislative productivity using a completely new methodology in political science based on queueing theory and industrial simulation and control software. The foundation of our analysis is the development of a process control model of legislative development. The model establishes a status quo productivity equilibrium based on empirical data from the first 100 days of the $103^{rd}$ House of Representatives, then stresses the system using the mandated productivity of the first 100 days of the $104^{th}$ House of Representatives. We compare the agenda based distribution of bill assignments from the ``Contract with America'' with a uniform assignment and find that requiring a stable legislative system to greatly increase productivity has substantial effects on members' allocation of time. In particular, members are likely to reduce time considering legislation and increasingly rely upon partisan cues for vote decisions. The methodology is sufficiently general that it can be applied to almost any legislative setting. Our application focuses on the feedback response from an electoral shift, but the methodology can address any productivity question. Since all legislative bodies have defined processes by which initiatives flow, the modeling and simulating of these processes can illuminate efficiencies and inefficiencies. Queueing theory addresses the prevalent and generalizable scenario in which demand for legislative outcomes exceeds the short-term capacity of a legislative system.

Formal Tests of Substantive Significance for Linear and Non-Linear Models
Esarey, Justin
Danneman, Nathan

Uploaded 07-16-2010
Keywords statistical decision theory
substantive significance
marginal effects
Abstract We propose a critical statistic c^{*} for determining the substantive significance of an empirical result, which we define as the degree to which it justifies a particular decision (such as the decision to accept or reject a theoretical hypothesis), and provide software tools for calculating c^{*} for a wide variety of models. Our procedure, which is built on ideas from Bayesian statistical decision theory, helps researchers improve the objectivity, transparency, and consistency of their assessments of substantive significance.

Designing Tests of the Supreme Court and the Separation of Powers
Sala, Brian R.
Spriggs II, James F.

Uploaded 09-13-2002
Keywords spatial voting theory
strategic behavior
Supreme Court
Abstract While "rational choice" models of Supreme Court decision making have enhanced our appreciation for the separation of powers built into the Madisonian Constitutional design, convincing empirical support for a separation-of-powers (SOP) constraint on justices' behavior has been elusive. We apply a standard spatial voting model to identify circumstances in which "Attitudinalist" and SOP predictions about justices' behavior diverge. Our reconsideration of the theory indicates that prior efforts to test quantitatively the two models have been biased by having included cases for which the two models' predictions do not differ. While our more focused test offers a fairer test of the SOP constraint, the results strongly reject the SOP model. Nonetheless, our analysis provides leverage on this issue by: (1) delineating and executing necessary research design protocols for crafting a critical test of the SOP model; and (2) rejecting the two exogenously fixed alternative SOP model and suggesting avenues for future research.

Indecision Theory: An Informational Model of Roll-Off
Katz, Jonathan
Ghirardato, Paolo

Uploaded 08-05-1997
Keywords voting
formal theory
decision theory
Abstract We address the so-called "roll-off" phenomenon: Selective abstention in multiple elections. We present a discuss a novel model of decision making by voters that explains this as a result of differences in quality and quantity of information that the voters have about each election. In doing so we use a spatial model that differs from the Euclidean one, and is more naturally applied to modeling differences in information.

A Copula Approach to the Problem of Selection Bias in Models of Government Survival
Chiba, Daina
Martin, Lanny
Stevenson, Randy

Uploaded 01-02-2014
Keywords selection bias
copula theory
duration models
government survival
government formation
Abstract Recent theories of coalition politics in parliamentary democracies suggest that government formation and survival are jointly determined outcomes. An important empirical implication of these theories is that the sample of observed governments analyzed in studies of government survival may be nonrandomly selected from the population of potential governments. This can lead to serious inferential problems. Unfortunately, current empirical models of government survival are unable to account for the possible biases arising from nonrandom selection. In this study, we use a copula-based framework to assess, and correct for, the dependence between the processes of government formation and survival. Our results suggest that existing studies of government survival, by ignoring the selection problem, significantly overstate the substantive importance of several covariates commonly included in empirical models.

Monotone Comparative Statics in Models of Politics: A Method for Simplifying Analysis and Enhancing Empirical Content
Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan
Ashworth, Scott

Uploaded 08-18-2004
Keywords game theory
formal theory
empirical implications of theoretical models
comparative statics

Abstract 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 di±cult 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.

Congressional Campaign Contributions, District Service and Electoral Outcomes in the United States: Statistical Tests of a Formal Game Model with Nonlinear Dynamics
Mebane, Walter R.

Uploaded 07-22-1997
Keywords congressional elections
campaign contributions
campaign finance
district service
intergovernmental transfers
formal model
game theory
Cournot-Nash equilibrium
Nash equilibrium
differential equations
dynamical system
nonlinear dynamics
Hopf bifurcation
normal form
Whitney embedding theorem
divergence theorem
Liouville's theorem
multivariate normal distribution
maximum likelihood
Wald test
asymptotic stability
Abstract Using a two-stage game model of congressional campaigns, the second stage being a system of ordinary differential equations, I argue that candidates, political parties and financial contributors interact strategically in American congressional elections in a way that is inherently nonlinear. Congressional races in which the incumbent faces a challenge are generated by dynamical systems that have Hopf bifurcations: a small change in the challenger's quality or in the type of district service can change a stable incumbent advantage into an oscillating race in which the incumbent's chances are uncertain. The normal form equations for such a system inspire a statistical model that can recover qualitative features of the dynamics from cross-sectional data. I estimate and test the model using data from the 1984 and 1986 election periods for political action committee campaign contributions, intergovernmental transfers and general election vote shares.

A Positive Theory of Bureaucratic Discretion as Agency Choice
Krause, George

Uploaded 02-24-2000
Keywords bureaucratic discretion
administrative decision-making
policy implementation
formal theory
Abstract Existing research on the positive theory of bureaucratic discretion views this phenomenon as a "supply-side" concept that elected officials determine without considering bureaucratic preferences altogether, or by merely treating it as being exogenous to the optimization problem confronting politicians. It has been well established by bureaucracy scholars that agencies have preferences concerning bureaucratic discretion and are proactive in trying to get these preferences met (e.g., Rourke 1984; Wilson 1989). In this essay, I set forth a "demand-side" theory of bureaucratic discretion where an administrative agency's preferences for this commodity under conditions of uncertainty is determined through the relationship between its utility and (a) bureaucratic discretion, and (b) policy (implementation) outcome uncertainty, separately. Moreover, I argue that the discretionary context confronting the agency will matter, and thus incorporate this into the theoretical model. Hypotheses concerning the discretionary context by which administrative agencies will view bureaucratic discretion are generated from this model. Finally, I propose a statistical test that could be employed to empirically test the theoretical predictions of the "demand-side" model of bureaucratic discretion set forth in this paper.

Antitrust and Markets
Hayes, Jeffery W.

Uploaded 03-18-1997
Keywords antitrust
principal-agent theory
financial markets
Abstract Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in order to test a theory of differential information asymmetry which posits that different political actors are capable of controlling different kinds of bureaucratic performance. Information asymmetry between the bureaucracy and political principals is an essential but infrequently tested foundation of principal--agent theory. I address the problem by generating a novel outcome measure of performance based upon how financial markets react to antitrust agency actions. By comparing measures of internal agency processes to an outcome-based market measure, we can shed light on the problem of information asymmetry when we realize that controlling processes requires less information resources than shaping outcomes. It is thus possible to make inferences not only about who controls the bureaucracy but also about what control means to the President and Congress. My preliminary findings suggest that a critical perspective on the meaning of bureaucratic performance illuminates interesting aspects of regulatory change. Examining the new market measure, I demonstrate that the entrenchment of Chicago school antitrust ideas resulted in a massivedecline in enforcement against major firms in the U.S. economy. I then argue that this decline in government intervention in the economy had stabilized by the late 1970s, well before Ronald Reagan's so-called antitrust revolution. Finally, I show that this second claim is not inconsistent with the notion of political control of the bureaucracy. By modeling a mid-range theory of differential information asymmetry, I find both a long-run equilibrium relationship between presidential ideology and agency outcomes as well as a consistent effect of Congressional ideology on agency processes. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings for assessments of antitrust policy and bureaucracy research more generally.

The Initiative as a Catalyst for Policy Change
Boehmke, Frederick

Uploaded 03-08-1999
Keywords Initiative
political theory
event history analysis
Abstract In this paper I develop and test a theoretical model of the role that the initiative process plays in shaping policy outcomes. My model builds on Gerber (1996) by introducing uncertainty over the median voter's ideal point and by allowing the interest group to lobby the legislature before a potential initiative is proposed. Successful lobbying may occur due to the uncertainty over the outcome of an initiative. Besides the possibility of lobbying, the results differ from Gerber's since proposal of an initiative is an equilibrium outcome for certain parameter values. I then turn to an event history analysis of state lottery adoptions to test the model's prediction that the initiative process should make it more likely that a state adopt a lottery. This is related to work by Berry and Berry (1990). The empirical hypothesis is found to be supported in the post 1980 period, which I believe is a result of the well-documented resurgence in its use after California's Proposition 13 in 1978. An indirect effect of the initiative in non-initiative states is also found through the importance of neighbors' adoptions. This confirms the view that initiative states are often policy leaders, which I argue may lead to less effective policy choices since they have less information about how to implement then.

Analyzing the US Senate in 2003: Similarities, Networks, Clusters and Blocs
Jakulin, Aleks

Uploaded 10-27-2004
Keywords roll call analysis
latent variable models
information theory
Abstract To analyze the roll calls in the US Senate in year 2003, we have employed the methods already used throughout the science community for analysis of genes, surveys and text. With information-theoretic measures we assess the association between pairs of senators based on the votes they cast. Furthermore, we can evaluate the influence of a voter by postulating a Shannon information channel between the outcome and a voter. The matrix of associations can be summarized using hierarchical clustering, multi-dimensional scaling and link analysis. With a discrete latent variable model we identify blocs of cohesive voters within the Senate, and contrast it with continuous ideal point methods. Under the bloc-voting model, the Senate can be interpreted as a weighted vote system, and we were able to estimate the empirical voting power of individual blocs through what-if analysis.

Statistical Analysis of Finite Choice Models in Extensive Form
Signorino, Curtis S.

Uploaded 03-23-1999
Keywords random utility
discrete choice
finite choice
game theory
Abstract (not transcribed)

Methodology as ideology: mathematical modeling of trench warfare
Gelman, Andrew

Uploaded 01-26-2005
Keywords cooperation
First World War
game theory
prisonerâ??Ã?ôs dilemma
Abstract The Evolution of Cooperation, by Axelrod (1984), is a highly influential study that identifies the benefits of cooperative strategies in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. We argue that the most extensive historical analysis in the book, a study of cooperative behavior in First World War trenches, is in error. Contrary to Axelrod’s claims, there soldiers in the Western Front were not generally in a prisoner’s dilemma (iterated or otherwise), and their cooperative behavior can be explained much more parsimoniously as immediately reducing their risks. We discuss the political implications of this misapplication of game theory.

Statistical Analysis of Finite Choice Models in Extensive Form
Signorino, Curtis S.

Uploaded 07-09-1999
Keywords random utility
discrete choice
finite choice
game theory
Abstract Social scientists are often confronted with theories where one or more actors make choices over finite sets of options leading to a finite set of outcomes. Such theories have addressed everything from whether states go to war, to how citizens or senators vote, to the form of transportation taken by commuters. Over the last thirty years, the most common way to analyze finite (or discrete) choice data has been to use nonstrategic random utility models, even when the theory posited as generating the data is explicitly strategic. Moreover, the source of uncertainty --- what makes the utility random --- is often paid little attention. In this paper, I generalize an entire class of statistical finite choice models, with both well-known and new nonstrategic and strategic special cases. I demonstrate how to derive statistical models from theoretical finite choice models and, in doing so, I address the statistical implications of three sources of uncertainty: agent error, private information about payoffs, and unobserved variation in regressors. I provide conditions for the types of choice structures that result in observationally equivalent statistical models. For strategic choice models, the type of uncertainty matters, resulting in observationally nonequivalent statistical models. Moreover, misspecifying the type of uncertainty in strategic models leads to biased and inconsistent estimates. Version: June 22, 1999

Strange Bedfellows or the Usual Suspects? Spatial Models of Ideology and Interest Group Coalitions
Almeida, Richard

Uploaded 04-01-2005
Keywords Interest groups
spatial theory
poisson regression
Abstract Entering into coalitions has become a standard tactic for interest groups trying to maximize success while minimizing cost. The strategic conditions underlying decisions to form or join coalitions are beginning to be explored in the political science literature, yet very little is known about the process and criteria through which interest groups select coalition partners. In this paper, I explore the partner selection process by applying spatial theories of ideology and coalition formation to interest group participation on amicus curiae briefs. Previous work demonstrates that the lobbying efforts of groups can be used to generate a general measure of ideology for any group. These captured ideology scores are used in statistical models of interest group coalition partner selection on amicus curiae briefs from 1954-1985. This research demonstrates that the ideology scores captured for each group are powerful predictors of interest group coalition partner selection, even when controls for resources, group type, and other potential predictors are included.

Is Instrumental Rationality a Universal Phenomenon?
Bennett, D. Scott
Stamm, Allan C.

Uploaded 04-22-1998
Keywords rational
expected utility
game theory
Abstract This paper examines whether the expected utility theory of war explains international conflict equally well across all regions and time-periods as a way of examining whether instrumental rationality is a universal phenomenon. In the rational choice literature, scholars typically assume that decision-makers are purposive egoistic decision-makers with common preferences across various outcomes. However, critics of the assumption have suggested that preferences and decision structures vary as a function of polity type, culture and learning among state leaders. There have been few attempts to directly examine this assumption and evaluate whether it seems empirically justified. In this paper we attempt to test the assumption of common instrumental rationality, examining several competing hypotheses about the nature of decision making in international relations and expectations about where and when instrumental rationality should be most readily observable. In particular, we want to explore the effects of regional learning to discover if there is a difference by region and over time in the outbreak of war and the predictions of the expected utility model. We find important differences both over regions and over time in how the predictions of expected utility theory fit actual conflict occurrence.

A Hierarchical Bayesian Framework for Item Response Theory Models with Applications in Ideal Point Estimation
Lu, Ying
Wang, Xiaohui

Uploaded 07-15-2006
Keywords item response theory
testlet response theory
random and fixed effect models
vote cast data
roll call analysis
Abstract Ideal point estimation, a variation of item response theory models, has been widely used by political scientists to analyze legislative behaviors. However, many existing ideal point estimation research is based on unrealistic assumptions of independence of different individuals' decisions towards all cases/bills and the independence of one's decisions towards different cases/bills. The violation of such assumptions leads to bias and inefficiency in parameter estimation. More importantly, failing to address these assumptions has hampered the ideal point estimation research from offering intuitive and concise explanations on complex legislative behaviors such as multidimensionality, strategic voting, temporary coalitions. In this paper, we extend one testlet response theory model by Bradlow, Wainer and Wang(1999) to a comprehensive hierarchical Bayesian statistical framework that allows researchers to model inter-individual and intra-individual correlations through random effects and/or fixed effects. Through simulations and an analysis of the US Supreme Court vote cast data, we show that the proposed framework holds good promise for tackling many unsettled issues in ideal point estimations. As a companion to this paper, we also offer an easy-to-use R package with C code that implements the methods discussed herein.

Is Instrumental Rationality a Universal Phenomenon?
Bennett, D. Scott
Stam, III, Allan C.

Uploaded 04-22-1998
Keywords rational
expected utility
game theory
Abstract This paper examines whether the expected utility theory of war explains international conflict equally well across all regions and time-periods as a way of examining whether instrumental rationality is a universal phenomenon. In the rational choice literature, scholars typically assume that decision-makers are purposive egoistic decision-makers with common preferences across various outcomes. However, critics of the assumption have suggested that preferences and decision structures vary as a function of polity type, culture and learning among state leaders. There have been few attempts to directly examine this assumption and evaluate whether it seems empirically justified. In this paper we attempt to test the assumption of common instrumental rationality, examining several competing hypotheses about the nature of decision making in international relations and expectations about where and when instrumental rationality should be most readily observable. In particular, we want to explore the effects of regional learning to discover if there is a difference by region and over time in the outbreak of war and the predictions of the expected utility model. We find important differences both over regions and over time in how the predictions of expected utility theory fit actual conflict occurrence.

Bargaining and Society: A Statistical Model of the Ultimatum Game
Signorino, Curtis
Ramsay, Kristopher

Uploaded 07-20-2006
Keywords bargaining
game theory
Abstract In this paper we derive a statistical estimator for the popular Ultimatum bargaining game. Using monte carlo data generated by a strategic bargaining process, we show that the estimator correctly recovers the relationship between dependent variables, such as the proposed division and bargaining failure, relative to substantive variables that comprise players' utilities. We then use the model to analyze bargaining data in a number of contexts. The current example examines the effects of demographics on bargaining behavior in experiments conducted on U.S. and Russian participants.

A Statistical Assessment of The Spatial Model of Ideology
Ghobarah, Hazen

Uploaded 07-20-1998
Keywords spatial theory
maximum likelihood
multi-dimensional scaling
Abstract The spatial model of ideology (Hinich and Munger, 1994) specifies a formal framework for linking positions of the electorate, the parties, and the candidates on a plethora of issues to positions on a few ideological dimensions- perhaps just one or two dimensions. While extant tests of this model have relied on cross-sectional survey data, this study utilizes a panel. The panel format allows a direct examination of the stability, and indeed the reality, of the parameters and the cognitive processes that are posited by the formal model. Given the available variables in the panel, I operationalize one model for party competition and another for presidential candidates. The results of both are supportive of the linkage model. The statistical methodology used in this study is no more complex than the model requires; it includes maximum likelihood factor analysis and a customized multi-dimensional scaling procedure.

Should Voters be Encyclopedias? Measuring the Political Sophistication of Survey Respondents
Lawrence, Christopher

Uploaded 12-23-2006
Keywords political sophistication
public opinion
item-response theory models
political knowledge
Abstract In this paper, I apply item-response theory models to the problem of measuring the political sophistication of survey respondents in the United States and the Netherlands, discuss the advantages of IRT models over traditional measurement techniques (additive indices, interviewer evaluations) for second-stage analysis, and demonstrate the construct validity of the IRT-based measures. I also demonstrate the relative performance of knowledge items and items constructed from party/candidate relative placement questions on both the NES and DPES.

Rivalry, Reciprocity, and the Dynamics of Presidential-Congressional Institution Building
Krause, George

Uploaded 08-20-1998
Keywords Institution Building
Presidential-Congressional Relations
Prisoner's Dilemma
Nonmyopic Equilibria
Theory of Moves
Johansen Cointegration Procedure
Vector Error Correction Mechanisms (VECMs)
Innovation Accounting
Abstract A central feature of the development of the presidential and congressional branches has been the process of institution building. This phenomenon represents the size and scope of a branch's formal institutional apparatus that is reflected by the resources it utilizes for operational and functional purposes. In this study, a simple dynamic Prisoner's Dilemma game-theoretic model, based on the Theory of Moves (Brams 1994), is set forth to explain this process. This theoretical model produces two Nonmyopic Equilibria (NMEs): (1) a Contractionary Equilibrium where both the president and Congress expend fewer resources; and (2) an Expansionary Equilibrium where each institution expends greater resources. The theoretical predictions derived from this positive model suggest that variations in the institutional expenditures by each branch will exhibit a stable long-run equilibrium relationship that is consistent with these NME's. Using constant-dollar annual data on Executive Office of the President and Legislative Branch expenditures for the 1939-1997 period, a Vector Error Correction Mechanism (VECM) model, that is derived from the game-theoretic model noted above, is employed to empirically account for both short-run and long-run movements as well as long-run equilibrium relations. The statistical evidence supports the predictions of the theoretical model. Specifically, the historical evolution of presidential and congressional institution building represents a conflict situation where neither institution has a permanent advantage over the other due to its equal power and farsightedly rational behavior. Contrary to existing research on this topic, the empirical findings reveal that both presidential and congressional efforts at institution building do not just emanate from within each respective branch, but instead are very responsive to one another with respect to these activities. This, in turn, suggests that causal (temporal) sequence of institution building is in stark contrast from the conventional wisdom of an "opportunistic" presidency that exploits Congress.

Using Item Response Theory to Estimate Ideology in Congress
Kropko, Jonathan

Uploaded 06-28-2008
Keywords Item Response Theory
Abstract I use item response theory (IRT) to estimate latent ideology from selected roll-call votes in the first session of the 110th House of Representatives. Votes are selected if they are divisive, unique, but not wholly explained by party loyalties. The method is similar to the one employed by Clinton et al (2004), but does not assume a spatial structure of voting. The results demonstrate that (1) although Democrats hold a majority of the seats in the 110th House, a majority of the members have conservative ideologies, (2) the Republican party leadership is much more conservative than the Democratic party leadership is liberal, and (3) that the House is far less ideologically polarized than DW-Nominate scores would indicate.

Negotiating Coalitions
Bottom, William P.
Miller, Gary J.
Holloway, James
McClurg, Scott D.

Uploaded 09-15-1998
Keywords Game theory
Experimental Design
Coalition Formation
Abstract Game theory's best efforts have done little but verify the undecidability of coalitional problems. The typical solution concept specifies the hypothesized distribution for each of several viable coalition structures--but cannot choose among the coalition structures. For example, the bargaining set presumes that bargaining proceeds by objection and counter-objection until potential coalition members are indifferent between the coalitions that they pivot between. Thus, the bargaining set makes a clear distributional hypothesis, but thereby gives up any leverage on which coalition will occur. In this paper, we explore how risk preferences and the nature of coalitional goods influence the coalition-building process. We test a variety of potential explanations with data collected in an experimental setting. Foremost among our conclusions is that the coalitions which form among inexperienced subjects are affected by their risk preferences. We further find that this effect disappears among experienced subjects. We conclude the paper by discussing some of the explanations for and questions stemming from our results.

"The Size and Scope of International Unions: A Coalition-Theoretic Approach"
Konstantinidis, Nikitas

Uploaded 07-10-2008
Keywords international unions
coalition theory
size and scope
flexible integration
Abstract This paper examines the endogenous strategic considerations in simultaneously creating, enlarging, and deepening an international union of countries within a framework of variable geometry. We introduce a coalition-theoretic model to examine the equilibrium relationship between union size and scope. What is the equilibrium (stable) size and scope of an international union and how do these variables interact? When should we expect countries to take advantage of more flexible modes of integration and how does that possibility affect the pace and depth of integration? In tackling these questions, we characterize the various policy areas of cooperation with respect to their cross-country and cross-policy spillovers, their efficiency scales, the heterogeneity of preferences, and the general cost structure. We then go on to show that the enlargement of a union and the widening of its policy scope are too symbiotic and mutually reinforcing dynamic processes under certain conditions. This is an exciting research puzzle given that current game-theoretic predictions have been at odds with the empirical reality of European integration.

Can Voting Reduce Welfare? Evidence from the US Telecommunications Sector
Falaschetti, Dino

Uploaded 06-15-2004
Keywords Electoral Institutions
Voter Turnout
Capture Theory
Regulatory Commitment
Telecommunications Policy
Economic Welfare
Abstract Voter turnout is popularly cited as reflecting a polity's health. The ease with which electoral members influence policy can, however, constrain an economy's productive capacity. For example, while influential electorates might carefully monitor political agents, they might also "capture" them. In the latter case, electorates transfer producer surplus to consumers at the expense of social welfare - i.e., a "healthy" polity's economy rests at an inferior equilibrium. I develop evidence that the US telecommunications sector may have realized such an outcome. This evidence is remarkably difficult to dismiss as an artifact of endogeneity bias, and appears important for several audiences. For example, the normative regulation literature calls for constraints on producers' market power, while the institutions and commitment literature calls for checks on political agents' opportunism. Evidence that I develop here suggests that, unbound by similar constraints, electoral principals might effectively control their political agents while significantly retarding their economic agents' productive incentives.

An Empirical Model of Government Formation in Parliamentary Democracies
Martin, Lanny W.
Stevenson, Randolph T.

Uploaded 00-00-0000
Keywords coalition theory
government formation
conditional logit
Abstract The study of coalition politics in parliamentary democracies has led to the construction of several sophisticated theories of government formation, but it has thus far failed to lead to the development of a reliable method that will permit us to verify these theories empirically. In this paper, we propose a solution to the problems plaguing the application of multivariate statistical analysis in this area. Specifically, we advocate use of the conditional logit technique to model the government formation process. We use this model to test various hypotheses from coalition theory on an original data set consisting of information on every potential government that could have formed in 285 separate instances of coalition bargaining in 14 post-war parliamentary democracies. We then illustrate further uses of this method by examining three real-world cases of government formation.

Understanding Wordscores
Lowe, Will

Uploaded 04-25-2007
Keywords content analysis
ideal point
item response theory
Abstract Wordscores is a widely-used procedure for inferring policy positions, or scores, for new documents on the basis of scores for words derived from documents with known scores. It is computationally straightforward, requires no distributional assumptions, but has unresolved practical and theoretical problems: In applications, estimated document scores are on the wrong scale and Wordscores does not specify a statistical model so it is unclear what assumptions the method makes about political text or how to tell whether they fit particular applications. The first part of the paper demonstrates that badly scaled document score estimates reflect deeper problems with the method. The second part shows how to understand Wordscores as an approximation to correspondence analysis which itself approximates a statistical ideal point model for words. Problems with the method are identified with the conditions under which these layers of approximation fail to ensure consistent and unbiased estimation of the parameters of the ideal point model.

Negotiated Compliance: Social Solutions to the 'Principal's Problem'
Whitford, Andrew B.
Miller, Gary J.
Bottom, William P.

Uploaded 07-11-2003
Keywords principal-agency theory
hierarchical logit
Abstract Principal-agency theory has typically analyzed the principal's problem1: how to write a contract with incentives that will induce an agent to provide the principal with the maximum feasible expected gain. In practice, principal-agent contracts are typically negotiated, not imposed. Experiments indicate that agent compliance is determined less by the negotiated terms of the contract than by expectations created by the negotiation process itself. We interpret this as justification for a renewed interest in the politics of negotiation and bureaucratic politics.

Costly Information and the Stability of Equilibria in the Intergenerational Dilemma
Signorino, Curtis S.

Uploaded 07-16-1996
Keywords evolutionary game theory
overlapping generations model
Abstract Past analyses of the intergenerational dilemma have identified a number of subgame-perfect equilibrium strategies. However, nothing has been said about the stability of these equilibria: how robust they are to perturbation or how difficult it is to move to a Pareto-improving equilibrium. Moreover, it is generally assumed that information is costless. In this paper, I incorporate costly information and analyze the stability of the equilibria, identifying (1) the conditions under which CONFORMIST versus DEFECTOR equilibria will be stable and (2) the degree of difficulty in moving from the Pareto-suboptimal DEFECTOR equilibrium to the Pareto-optimal CONFORMIST equilibrium. In general, the maintenance of a CONFORMIST equilibrium becomes more difficult the more the second period is discounted and the higher the information costs. Additionally, when altruists are included in the model and information is only slightly costly, cycling among the homogeneous equilibria can occur. I show that to counter this instability, conformists should always punish altruists --- that to protect one's own future payoffs, one may need to police the interactions of others.

Balancing Competing Demands: Position-Taking and Election Proximity in the European Parliament
Lindstaedt, Rene
Slapin, Jonathan
Vander Wielen, Ryan

Uploaded 07-31-2009
Keywords Legislative Politics
European Parliament
Comparative Politics
Bayesian IRT
Formal Theory
Abstract Parties value unity, yet, members of parliament face competing demands, giving them incentives to deviate from the party. For members of the European Parliament (MEPs), these competing demands are national party and European party group pressures. Here, we look at how MEPs respond to those competing demands. We examine ideological shifts within a single parliamentary term to assess how European Parliament (EP) election proximity affects party group cohesion. Our formal model of legislative behavior with multiple principals yields the following hypothesis: When EP elections are proximate, national party delegations shift toward national party positions, thus weakening EP party group cohesion. For our empirical test, we analyze roll call data from the fifth EP (1999-2004) using Bayesian item response models. We find significant movement among national party delegations as EP elections approach, which is consistent with our theoretical model, but surprising given the existing literature on EP elections as second-order contests.

Political Preference Formation: Competition, Deliberation, and the (Ir)relevance of Framing Effects
Druckman, Jamie

Uploaded 07-09-2003
Keywords framing effects
rational choice theory
political psychology
Abstract A framing effect occurs when different, but logically equivalent, words or phrases such as 95% employment or 5% unemployment cause individuals to alter their preferences. Framing effects challenge the foundational assumptions of much of the social sciences (e.g., the existence of coherent preferences or stable attitudes), and raise serious normative questions about democratic responsiveness. Many scholars and pundits assume that framing effects are highly robust in political contexts. Using a new theory and an experiment with more than 550 participants, I show that this is not the case framing effects do not occur in many political settings. Elite competition and citizens inter- personal conversations often vitiate and eliminate framing effects. However, I also find that when framing effects persist, they can be even more pernicious than often thought not only do they suggest incoherent preferences but they also stimulate increased confidence in those preferences. My results have broad implications for preference formation, rational choice theory, political psychology, and experimental design.

The Selection Effect of International Dispute Settlement Institutions
Reinhardt, Eric

Uploaded 11-11-1996
Keywords compliance
dispute settlement
game theory
Abstract This paper examines the impact of dispute settlement institutions on the outcome of international conflicts. Realists contend that such institutions are epiphenomenal to underlying power relationships. Neoliberals argue in contrast that institutions make cooperation more likely by clarifying obligations and reducing transaction costs. The paper introduces some puzzling evidence about the role of the dispute process under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The evidence highlights a selection effect, in which cooperation is more likely at earlier stages of institutional escalation than after the adjudication is complete. Yet why would defendants plea bargain if they know they can spurn contrary rulings? To address this question, the paper introduces an incomplete information model of international bargaining and escalation within the context of a dispute settlement institution. The model generates a number of surprising and powerful results. First, even defendants who do not fear unfavorable rulings will be more likely to plea bargain in equilibrium because of the dispute settlement institution. Second, those disputes that reach the highest levels of escalation---in which rulings are issued---are much less likely to end cooperatively than those that end before the ruling stage. The model thus explains the puzzling GATT selection effect. It also suggests that dispute settlement institutions can have a positive effect on cooperation (contra realist theory), but not through the mechanisms posited by neoliberals. In order to see the influence of such institutions, we must examine not those cases in which they issue injunctions, but rather those in which their involvement is peripheral or merely threatened.

Answer Key (Odd Numbers): Esssential Mathematics for Political and Social Research
Gill, Jeff

Uploaded 05-02-2009
Keywords answer key
mathematics for political science
matrix algebra
probability and set theory
Markov chains
Abstract Hopefully this post is not too self-promotional. I get lots of requests for the answer key to ESSENTIAL MATHEMATICS FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH (Cambridge University Press 2006), which the press has restricted to teaching faculty. Recently, however, I have recently received permission to make generally available the answers worked-out in detail for odd numbered problems. This file provides these.

Spatial Voting Theory and Counterfactual Inference: John C. Breckenridge and the Presidential Election of 1860
Jenkins, Jeffery A.
Morris, Irwin

Uploaded 07-02-2003
Keywords spatial voting theory
counterfactual inference
presidential election
Abstract One important catalyst for the onset of the Civil War was the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Lincoln, competing against three other candidates, won election with the smallest percentage of the popular vote in American history. Given the circumstances, a slightly different electoral slate might have engineered his defeat. We examine this possibility by focusing on the candidacy of John C. Breckinridge, the final entrant into the race. Historians disagree over the rationale behind Breckinridge's candidacy. Some argue that it was a desperate effort to defeat Lincoln; others suggest that it was designed to insure Lincoln's victory. Using election counterfactuals and applying spatial voting theory, we examine these arguments. Our evidence suggests that Breckinridge had no reasonable chance to win. Support for Breckinridge's candidacy was only reasonable if the intention were to elect Lincoln.

The Spatial Theory of Voting and the Presidential Election of 1824
Jenkins, Jeffery A.
Sala, Brian R.

Uploaded 08-15-1997
Keywords spatial voting theory
ideological voting
presidential selection
Nominate scores
Abstract One recent analysis claims that in at least five p residential contests since the end of World War II a relatively minor vote shift in a small number of states would have produced Electoral College deadlock, leading to a House election for president (Longley and Peirce 1996). A presidential contest in the House would raise fundamental questions from agency theory - do members "shirk" the collective preferences of their constituent-principals on highly salient votes and, if so, what explains the choices they do make? Can vote choices be rationalized in a theory of ideological voting, or are legislators highly susceptible to interest-group pressures and enticements? We apply a spatial-theoretic model of voting to the House balloting for president in 1825 in order to test competing hypotheses about how MCs would likely vote in a presidential ballot. We find that a sincere voting model based on ideal points for MCs and candidates derived from Nominate scores closely matches the choices made by MCs in 1825.

The Democracy Paradox
Gagnon, Jean-Paul
Gagnon, Jean-Paul

Uploaded 02-24-2010
Keywords democracy
political science
what is democracy
Abstract This paper argues that democracy is a governing method endemic to human nature. It also argues that since democracyâ??s growth and stylizations (for example by the Mycenaeans, Greek, Ottoman, and later the modern post-colonial world) it has been misunderstood and incorrectly defined. At present, many scholars (such as Beetham, Breton, Dahl, Diamond, Huntington, Keane, and to a certain extent Touraine) seek to explain democracy as theorists and philosophers have been trying to do for millennia. The lack of explaining the general laws of democracy in a universally accepted definition is a major crux in political theory. The current political science focus on indices which appoint performance scores regarding how â??democraticâ?? a country is reveals another example of how, increasingly, more mainstream political thinking seeks to define democracy with general criteria (evincing a desire to appoint universal laws to democracy). This paper will show that there is, and has been for well over 3500 years, a democracy paradox by explaining what it is and how it came about. Such will be done firstly by revealing the history of the paradox; then discussing how it came to the modern era without being solved; finishing with the answer to the paradox derived from the authorâ??s doctoral thesis.

Embracing Methodological Pluralism in Comparative Politics: Game Theory, Data Inspection, and Case Studies
Paine, Jack

Uploaded 07-17-2014
Keywords Comparative Politics
Multiple Regression
Game Theory
Case Studies
Civil Wars
Abstract Inferring causal relationships from cross national data poses inherent difficulties—an unsolvable problem. But the staple method of multiple regression obscures as much as it illuminates. We can do better with the data we have to generate more reliable statistical findings. This poster examines how game theory, simple data inspection, and case studies can provide additional support for well-substantiated arguments and expose concerns with problematic regression results. I draw examples from my substantive research focused mainly on civil wars and authoritarian regimes. Thus, this poster also summarizes methodological themes from my dissertation.

An Agent-Based Model of Politics, Fertility and Economic Development Dynamics
Yang, Zining

Uploaded 07-21-2015
Keywords agent based model
system dynamics
game theory
political capacity
economic development
political instability
human capital
Abstract In the study of political economy, policy choices at a single point affect a country’s development path by impacting fertility, economic and political decisions across generations. It is important to understand the relationship between politics, economic, and demography change at both macro and micro levels. Combining system dynamics and agent based modeling approach, I formalize a simulation framework of the Politics of Fertility and Economic Development (POFED). First, I validate Feng et al (2000) system dynamics model with the political capacity measurement developed by Kugler and Tammen (2012). Second, I fuse these endogenous attributes with non-cooperative game theory in an agent based framework to simulate the interactive political economic dynamics of individual intra-societal transactions. Third, I connect macro and micro level with policy levers of government performance, including political extraction and allocation, by merging system dynamics and agent based components. I explore the model’s behavioral dynamics via simulation methods to identify paths towards economic development and political stability. I find nonlinear relationship among economic and political variables, as well as different development patterns produced by different combinations of economic, social, and political shocks. Political variables have the largest impact on economic development, in terms of maintaining a good environment for investment and allocating resources efficiently. Individual’s mutual cooperative behavior creates trust among each other, which enhances both political stability and economic growth. Demographic patterns also matter for a society’s growth path, as birth decreases political stability while human capital increases wealth.

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