Posted in 2014

Estimation techniques: Ordinary least squares and maximum likelihood

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A chapter on estimation techniques has appeared in the edited volume Regression Analysis and Causal Inference, edited by Henning Best and Christof Wolf and published by Sage. A companion website is here.

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Data set on “Party Positions in Multiple Dimensions across Time and Space” available

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Estimates (or more correctly: predictions) of parties’ positions in multiple dimensions in different countries, spanning the decades from 1945 (1920 for the USA) to 2010 is now available here on my website.

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EPSA paper: Inference for multilevel models when the number of clusters is small.

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In a recent article published in AJPS it is claimed that Bayesian estimators have a superior performance in the estimation of the influence of group-level covariates, especially if the number of groups/clusters is small. In the paper presented at EPSA, we show that the problems addressed by Bayesian techniques can also be adequately addressed by a frequentist technique, restricted maximum likelihood, without the problems involved in Bayesian estimation, such as the computational cost and the need to select an appropriate prior.

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A finite mixture approach to tactical voting

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A paper entitled Separating Tactical from Sincere Voting: A Finite-Mixture Discrete-Choice Modelling Approach was presented at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Political Science Association 2014 in Chicago, Ill. It presents a novel approach to uncover tactical voting from responses in electoral survey studies. The basic idea is that the distribution of observed voting decisions is a finite mixture of non-tactical (aka sincere) and tactical voting decisions, where tactical voting decisions are characterised by choosing - in stead of the full choice set - from a restricted consideration set. This restricted consideration set then contains only those alternatives (e.g. parties’ candidates) that are considered viable by the voter in her respective constituency or voting district.

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