Category: Political Science

Research topic on the geography of partisan prejudice (more generally, county-level estimates using MRP)

1. An estimate of the geography of partisan prejudice My colleagues David Rothschild and Tobi Konitzer recently published this MRP analysis, “The Geography of Partisan Prejudice: A guide to the most—and least—politically open-minded counties in America,” written up by Amanda Ripley, Rekha Tenjarla, and Angela He. Ripley et al. write: In general, the most politically […]

“Heckman curve” update: The data don’t seem to support the claim that human capital investments are most effective when targeted at younger ages.

David Rea and Tony Burton write: The Heckman Curve describes the rate of return to public investments in human capital for the disadvantaged as rapidly diminishing with age. Investments early in the life course are characterised as providing significantly higher rates of return compared to investments targeted at young people and adults. This paper uses […]

David Weakliem on the U.S. electoral college

The sociologist and public opinion researcher has a series of excellent posts here, here, and here on the electoral college. Here’s the start: The Electoral College has been in the news recently. I [Weakliem] am going to write a post about public opinion on the Electoral College vs. popular vote, but I was diverted into […]

Most Americans like big business.

Tyler Cowen asks: Why is there so much suspicion of big business? Perhaps in part because we cannot do without business, so many people hate or resent business, and they love to criticize it, mock it, and lower its status. Business just bugs them. . . . The short answer is, No, I don’t think […]

When and how do politically extreme candidates get punished at the polls?

In 2016, Tausanovitch and Warshaw performed an analysis “using the largest dataset to date of voting behavior in congressional elections” and found: Ideological positions of congressional candidates have only a small association with citizens’ voting behavior. Instead, citizens cast their votes “as if” based on proximity to parties rather than individual candidates. The modest degree […]

Political polarization and gender gap: I don’t get Romer’s beef.

Gur Huberman writes: Current politics + statistical analysis, the Paul Romer v. 538 edition: Economist Paul Romer is criticizing a news article by Perry Bacon, Jr. entitled, “The Biggest Divides On The Kavanaugh Allegations Are By Party — Not Gender.” My reaction: I don’t get Romer’s beef. Bacon’s article seems reasonable to me: He […]

Remember that paper we wrote, The mythical swing voter? About shifts in the polls being explainable by differential nonresponse? Mark Palko beat us to this idea, by 4 years.

So. The other day I came across a link by Palko to this post from 2012, where he wrote: Pollsters had long tracked campaigns by calling random samples of potential voters. As campaign became more drawn out and journalistic focus shifted to the horse race aspects of election, these phone polls proliferated. At the same […]

A corpus in a single survey!

This was something we used a few years ago in one of our research projects and in the paper, Difficulty of selecting among multilevel models using predictive accuracy, with Wei Wang, but didn’t follow up on. I think it’s such a great idea I want to share it with all of you. We were applying […]

My talk today (Tues 19 Feb) 2pm at the University of Southern California

At the Center for Economic and Social Research, Dauterive Hall (VPD), room 110, 635 Downey Way, Los Angeles: The study of American politics as a window into understanding uncertainty in science Andrew Gelman, Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science, Columbia University We begin by discussing recent American elections in the context of political […]

Simulation-based statistical testing in journalism

Jonathan Stray writes: In my recent Algorithms in Journalism course we looked at a post which makes a cute little significance-type argument that five Trump campaign payments were actually the $130,000 Daniels payoff. They summed to within a dollar of $130,000, so the simulation recreates sets of payments using bootstrapping and asks how often there’s […]

Global warming? Blame the Democrats.

An anonymous blog commenter sends the above graph and writes: I was looking at the global temperature record and noticed an odd correlation the other day. Basically, I calculated the temperature trend for each presidency and multiplied by the number of years to get a “total temperature change”. If there was more than one president […]

Moneyball for evaluating community colleges

From an interesting statistics-laden piece by Dean Dad: Far more community college students transfer prior to completing the Associate’s degree than actually complete first. According to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, about 350,000 transfer before completion, compared to about 60,000 who complete first. That matters in several ways. Most basically, […]