a solution to the ecological inference problem reconstructing individual behavior from aggregate data

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A Solution To The Ecological Inference Problem

Author : Gary King
ISBN : 9781400849208
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 32. 92 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
ISBN : 0521542804
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 41. 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
ISBN : 0472085549
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 68. 99 MB
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Argues that likelihood theory is a unifying approach to statistical modeling in political science

Designing Social Inquiry

Author : Gary King
ISBN : 1400821215
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 44. 52 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.

Ballots And Bullets

Author : Joanne Gowa
ISBN : 9781400822980
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 33. 11 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.

Computational Social Science

Author : R. Michael Alvarez
ISBN : 9781316531280
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36. 89 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.

Cross Level Inference

Author : Christopher H. Achen
ISBN : 0226002195
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 24. 13 MB
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In the last several years, new disputes have erupted over the use of group averages from census areas or voting districts to draw inferences about individual social behavior. Social scientists, policy analysts, and historians often have little choice about using this kind of data, but statistical analysis of them is fraught with pitfalls. The recent debates have led to a new menu of choices for the applied researcher. This volume explains why older methods like ecological regression so often fail, and it gives the most comprehensive treatment available of the promising new techniques for cross-level inference. Experts in statistical analysis of aggregate data, Christopher H. Achen and W. Philips Shively contend that cross-level inference makes unusually strong demands on substantive knowledge, so that no one method, such as Goodman's ecological regression, will fit all situations. Criticizing Goodman's model and some recent attempts to replace it, the authors argue for a range of alternate techniques, including estensions of cross-tabular, regression analysis, and unobservable variable estimators.

Little Bites Of Big Data For Public Policy

Author : Donald F. Kettl
ISBN : 9781506383538
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 69. 98 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.

The Logic Of Evil

Author : William Brustein
ISBN : 0300074328
Genre : History
File Size : 37. 94 MB
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Why did millions of rational Germans join the Nazi Party between 1925 and 1933? In this book, the author argues that Nazi supporters were no different from citizens anywhere who select a political party or candidate they believe will promote their economic interests.

The Sage Handbook Of Spatial Analysis

Author : A Stewart Fotheringham
ISBN : 9781446206508
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34. 23 MB
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The widespread use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has significantly increased the demand for knowledge about spatial analytical techniques across a range of disciplines. As growing numbers of researchers realise they are dealing with spatial data, the demand for specialised statistical and mathematical methods designed to deal with spatial data is undergoing a rapid increase. Responding to this demand, The Handbook of Spatial Analysis is a comprehensive and authoritative discussion of issues and techniques in the field of Spatial Data Analysis. Its principal focus is on: • why the analysis of spatial data needs separate treatment • the main areas of spatial analysis • the key debates within spatial analysis • examples of the application of various spatial analytical techniques • problems in spatial analysis • areas for future research Aimed at an international audience of academics, The Handbook of Spatial Analysis will also prove essential to graduate level students and researchers in government agencies and the private sector.

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