How can we detect voting irregularities? What causes individuals to vote? In what sense (if any) does democracy (or trade) reduce the probability of war? Quantitative political scientists address these questions and many others by using and developing statistical methods that are informed by theories in political sci- ence. In this course, we provide an introduction to the tools used in basic quantitative political methodology. The first four weeks of the course cover introductory univariate statistics, while the remainder of the course focuses on linear regression models. Furthermore, the principles learned in this course provide a foundation for the future study of more advanced topics in quantitative political methodology.
While the tools of statistical inference are worth studying in their own right, the primary goal of this course is to provide graduate students (and some undergraduates) with the necessary skills to critically read, interpret, and replicate the quantitative content of many political science articles. As such, the statistical methods covered in this course will be presented within the context of a number of articles. Throughout the term, we will reanalyze the data and revisit the conclusions from
- “Racial Prejudice and Attitudes Toward Affirmative Action,” by James H. Kuklinski, Paul M. Snider- man, Kathleen Knight, Thomas Piazza, Philip E. Tetlock, Gordon R. Lawrence, and Barbara Mellers, The American Journal of Political Science, 1997.
- “Measuring Political Preferences,” by Lee Epstein and Carol Mershon, American Journal of Polititcal Science, 1996.
- “Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers’ Voting on Women’s Issues,” by Ebonya L. Washington, The American Economic Review, 2008.
- “Social Pressure and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment,” by Alan S. Gerber, Donald P. Green, and Christopher W. Larimer, The American Political Science Review, 2008.
- “Law and Data: The Butterfly Ballot Episode,” by Henry E. Brady, Michael C. Herron, Walter R. Mebane Jr., Jasjeet Sekhon, Kenneth W. Shotts, Jonathan Wand, PS: Political Science and Politics, 2001.
- “The Classical Liberals Were Right: Democracy, Interdependence, and Conflict 1950-1985,” by JohnR. Oneal and Bruce M. Russett, International Studies Quarterly, 1997.
- “MPs for Sale? Returns to Office in Postwar British Politics,” by Andrew Eggers and Jens Hainmueller,The American Political Science Review, 2009.