Since World War II, trade barriers have come down around the world.  While the degree of liberalization has varied across both countries and industries, there is a puzzle: Why do so many countries continue to more heavily protect lower-earning, less-skilled industries?  An important reason this pattern is puzzling is it holds true even in many […]

Blog post by: Neil Malhotra, Yotam Margalit, and Cecilia Mo As the 113th session of the US Congress comes to a close, a glaring policymaking failure is the inability to craft legislation to deal with undocumented immigrants. With much of the blame for gridlock at the feet of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, journalists have […]

Post by Michael J. Hanmer (Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland) and Kerem Ozan Kalkan (Assistant Professor, Department of Government, Eastern Kentucky University) regarding: “Behind the Curve: Clarifying the Best Approach to Calculating Predicted Probabilities and Marginal Effects from Limited Dependent Variable Models” by Michael J. […]

By Philip Leifeld Political outcomes are often the result of policy networks which span multiple types of actors. The question is how these policy networks operate, and how they are organized. We therefore look at tie formation, the decision of any two actors to cooperate, using an exponential random graph model (ERGM), a recent development […]

“What do they know about Negroes? You can’t name one member of this court who knows anything about Negroes before he came to this court.”  So said Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice to serve on the Supreme Court, as he reflected in 1990 on his Supreme Court career. Marshall was lamenting his failure […]

By Paul S. Hernson Studies of ballots have traditionally focused on roll-off, candidate order, and partisan advantage. This study is among the first to assess the impact of ballots on individual-level voter errors. We develop new hypotheses by bringing together theoretical insights from usability research and political science about the effects of ballots with and […]

Would you be less likely to support a policy if Barack Obama was in favor of it? Would it make a difference if George W. Bush were in favor it? Although there are many sources of the opinions we hold, I examined whether people are likely to hold different opinions on a policy depending on […]

Avoiding liability is profitable – potentially very profitable.  The ability to escape blame offers decision makers opportunities to enact policies that are morally reprehensible or costly for others.  Think about the executive committee of a firm (their actions affect shareholders and consumers), a governing coalition (voters are affected by their decisions), or members of a […]

Scholars disagree about how people form attachments to parties.  One camp views these attachments as a social identity, inherited like a religious affiliation and tending to persist over an individual’s life.  A second camp views party attachments as a “running tally” of a citizen’s evaluations of the parties over time.  From this perspective, partisanship is […]

A longstanding belief among many political scientists is that citizens have relatively few stable opinions. UCLA Professor John Zaller titled a chapter of his seminal book on public opinion, “Making it up as you go along,” implying that opinions on many (or perhaps most) issues are quite fleeting. This skepticism comes in large part from […]


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