A Solution To The Ecological Inference Problem

Author: Gary King
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849209
Size: 43.93 MB
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This book provides a solution to the ecological inference problem, which has plagued users of statistical methods for over seventy-five years: How can researchers reliably infer individual-level behavior from aggregate (ecological) data? In political science, this question arises when individual-level surveys are unavailable (for instance, local or comparative electoral politics), unreliable (racial politics), insufficient (political geography), or infeasible (political history). This ecological inference problem also confronts researchers in numerous areas of major significance in public policy, and other academic disciplines, ranging from epidemiology and marketing to sociology and quantitative history. Although many have attempted to make such cross-level inferences, scholars agree that all existing methods yield very inaccurate conclusions about the world. In this volume, Gary King lays out a unique--and reliable--solution to this venerable problem. King begins with a qualitative overview, readable even by those without a statistical background. He then unifies the apparently diverse findings in the methodological literature, so that only one aggregation problem remains to be solved. He then presents his solution, as well as empirical evaluations of the solution that include over 16,000 comparisons of his estimates from real aggregate data to the known individual-level answer. The method works in practice. King's solution to the ecological inference problem will enable empirical researchers to investigate substantive questions that have heretofore proved unanswerable, and move forward fields of inquiry in which progress has been stifled by this problem.

Ecological Inference

Author: Gary King
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521542807
Size: 39.91 MB
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Drawing upon the explosion of research in the field, a diverse group of scholars surveys strategies for solving ecological inference problems, the process of trying to infer individual behavior from aggregate data. The uncertainties and information lost in aggregation make ecological inference one of the most difficult areas of statistical inference, but these inferences are required in many academic fields, as well as by legislatures and the Courts in redistricting, marketing research by business, and policy analysis by governments. This wide-ranging collection of essays, first published in 2004, offers many important contributions to the study of ecological inference.

Unifying Political Methodology

Author: Gary King
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472085545
Size: 38.98 MB
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Argues that likelihood theory is a unifying approach to statistical modeling in political science

Computational Social Science

Author: R. Michael Alvarez
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316531287
Size: 74.54 MB
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Quantitative research in social science research is changing rapidly. Researchers have vast and complex arrays of data with which to work: we have incredible tools to sift through the data and recognize patterns in that data; there are now many sophisticated models that we can use to make sense of those patterns; and we have extremely powerful computational systems that help us accomplish these tasks quickly. This book focuses on some of the extraordinary work being conducted in computational social science - in academia, government, and the private sector - while highlighting current trends, challenges, and new directions. Thus, Computational Social Science showcases the innovative methodological tools being developed and applied by leading researchers in this new field. The book shows how academics and the private sector are using many of these tools to solve problems in social science and public policy.

Little Bites Of Big Data For Public Policy

Author: Donald F. Kettl
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 150638353X
Size: 24.13 MB
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Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy brings to life the quest to make better policy with better evidence. This brief book frames the big puzzles and, through lively stories and clear examples, provides a valuable how-to guide for producing analysis that works—that speaks persuasively to policy makers, in the language they can best hear, on the problems for which they most need answers. Author Donald F. Kettl brings together the cutting-edge streams of data analytics and data visualization to frame the big puzzles and find ways to make the pieces fit together. By taking little bites of a wide variety of useful data, and then by analyzing it in ways that decision makers will find most helpful, analysts can be much more effective in shaping solutions to the most important problems governments face.

Designing Social Inquiry

Author: Gary King
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400821211
Size: 58.67 MB
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While heated arguments between practitioners of qualitative and quantitative research have begun to test the very integrity of the social sciences, Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba have produced a farsighted and timely book that promises to sharpen and strengthen a wide range of research performed in this field. These leading scholars, each representing diverse academic traditions, have developed a unified approach to valid descriptive and causal inference in qualitative research, where numerical measurement is either impossible or undesirable. Their book demonstrates that the same logic of inference underlies both good quantitative and good qualitative research designs, and their approach applies equally to each. Providing precepts intended to stimulate and discipline thought, the authors explore issues related to framing research questions, measuring the accuracy of data and uncertainty of empirical inferences, discovering causal effects, and generally improving qualitative research. Among the specific topics they address are interpretation and inference, comparative case studies, constructing causal theories, dependent and explanatory variables, the limits of random selection, selection bias, and errors in measurement. Mathematical notation is occasionally used to clarify concepts, but no prior knowledge of mathematics or statistics is assumed. The unified logic of inference that this book explicates will be enormously useful to qualitative researchers of all traditions and substantive fields.

Mapping Reality

Author: Jane Azevedo
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780791432075
Size: 73.85 MB
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Using the insights of evolutionary epistemology, the author develops a new naturalist realist methodology of science, and applies it to the conceptual, practical, and ethical problems of the social sciences.

Mexican Americans

Author: Peter Skerry
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780674572621
Size: 16.56 MB
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"Some of us have been here for three hundred years, some for three days." This comment, often repeated by Mexican Americans, affirms their status as one of America's oldest ethnic groups, as well as one of its newest and fastest growing. Not surprisingly, many observers (including some Mexican Americans) are concerned about the impact of the burgeoning number of Mexican immigrants on our society - anxieties exacerbated by leaders whose demands for bilingual schools and ballots challenge the goal of assimilation. Yet for Skerry the critical question is not whether Mexican immigrants will join the American mainstream, but how - on what terms. Those terms, he argues, will be forged in the political arena, where enormous changes have been wrought during the past twenty-five years. Gone are the strong local party organizations that once helped newcomers adapt. In their stead are nationalized parties with weak local roots, and civil rights efforts such as the Voting Rights Act, which offer Mexican Americans powerful incentives to define themselves not as an aspiring immigrant ethnic group but as a racially oppressed minority. These divergent political styles emerge from Skerry's comparison of the two American cities with the most visible Mexican American communities, San Antonio and Los Angeles. In Texas, where Mexican Americans have indeed been racially subjugated, traditional political institutions and effective community organizing have afforded them much political success, and moderated their deep-seated resentments. Paradoxicallyin California, where Mexican Americans have enjoyed considerable social and economic mobility, their political efforts have been much less successful andcharacterized by angry protest and racial claims. Noting that the California model of politics, detached from local communities and propelled by money and media, is setting the national norm. Skerry warns that Mexican Americans are being encouraged to dwell on the undeniable injustices

Ballots And Bullets

Author: Joanne Gowa
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140082298X
Size: 68.64 MB
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There is a widespread belief, among both political scientists and government policymakers, that "democracies don't fight each other." Here Joanne Gowa challenges that belief. In a thorough, systematic critique, she shows that, while democracies were less likely than other states to engage each other in armed conflicts between 1945 and 1980, they were just as likely to do so as were other states before 1914. Thus, no reason exists to believe that a democratic peace will survive the end of the Cold War. Since U.S. foreign policy is currently directed toward promoting democracy abroad, Gowa's findings are especially timely and worrisome. Those who assert that a democratic peace exists typically examine the 1815-1980 period as a whole. In doing so, they conflate two very different historical periods: the pre-World War I and post-World War II years. Examining these periods separately, Gowa shows that a democratic peace prevailed only during the later period. Given the collapse of the Cold War world, her research calls into question both the conclusions of previous researchers and the wisdom of present U.S. foreign policy initiatives. By re-examining the arguments and data that have been used to support beliefs about a democratic peace, Joanne Gowa has produced a thought-provoking book that is sure to be controversial.

The Fear Of Barbarians

Author: Tzvetan Todorov
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226805786
Size: 73.39 MB
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The relationship between Western democracies and Islam, rarely entirely comfortable, has in recent years become increasingly tense. A growing immigrant population and worries about cultural and political assimilation—exacerbated by terrorist attacks in the United States, Europe, and around the world—have provoked reams of commentary from all parts of the political spectrum, a frustrating majority of it hyperbolic or even hysterical. In The Fear of Barbarians, the celebrated intellectual Tzvetan Todorov offers a corrective: a reasoned and often highly personal analysis of the problem, rooted in Enlightenment values yet open to the claims of cultural difference. Drawing on history, anthropology, and politics, and bringing to bear examples ranging from the murder of Theo van Gogh to the French ban on headscarves, Todorov argues that the West must overcome its fear of Islam if it is to avoid betraying the values it claims to protect. True freedom, Todorov explains, requires us to strike a delicate balance between protecting and imposing cultural values, acknowledging the primacy of the law, and yet strenuously protecting minority views that do not interfere with its aims. Adding force to Todorov's arguments is his own experience as a native of communist Bulgaria: his admiration of French civic identity—and Western freedom—is vigorous but non-nativist, an inclusive vision whose very flexibility is its core strength. The record of a penetrating mind grappling with a complicated, multifaceted problem, The Fear of Barbarians is a powerful, important book—a call, not to arms, but to thought.