The forthcoming article “Does Regression Produce Representative Estimates of Causal Effects” by Peter M. Aronow and Cyrus Samii is summarized by the authors here: Issues of generalizability are central in current discussions about causal inference.  By now, it is broadly understood that instrumental variables identify an average treatment effect that is local to the “complier” subpopulation. Regression […]

The forthcoming article “Voting Against Your Constituents? How Lobbying Affects Representation” by Nathalie Giger and Heike Klüver is summarized here: Do MPs listen to interest groups instead of their voters? Citizens delegate the representation of their political preferences to Members of Parliament (MPs) who are supposed to represent their interests in the legislature. However, MPs are exposed […]

By Vladimir Kogan, Stéphane Lavertu, and Zachary Peskowitz The forthcoming article “Performance Federalism and Local Democracy: Theory and Evidence from School Tax Referenda” is summarized by the authors here: In 2001, lawmakers overhauled federal education policy with the goal of improving public education and, in particular, closing the achievement gap between student subgroups. But, as […]

The forthcoming article “Opinion Backlash and Public Attitudes: Are Political Advances in Gay Rights Counterproductive?” by Benjamin G. Bishin, Thomas J. Hayes, Matthew B. Incantalupo and Charles Anthony Smith is summarized by the authors here: With the Supreme Court scheduled to hear oral arguments in the spring of 2015, setting up a decision that could legalize same-sex marriage across […]

The forthcoming article “Campaign Contributions Facilitate Access to Congressional Officials: A Randomized Field Experiment” by Joshua L. Kalla and David E. Brookman is summarized here: To many people, it’s obvious that campaign donations influence how policymakers behave. However, to many others — including most political scientists — it’s obvious that they don’t. What’s the truth? This question has […]

The forthcoming article “The Temporary Importance of Role Models for Women’s Political Representation” by Fabrizio Gilardi is summarized by the author here: “Women are a minority in every state legislature in America” was the title of a recent post on In this case, the US is no exception: women are politically underrepresented almost everywhere […]

By Benjamin E. Lauderdale and Tom S. Clark Our article, “Scaling Politically Meaningful Dimensions Using Texts and Votes”, is both about the U.S. Supreme Court and about the methodology of measurement.  One of the many goals of political science as a field is improving measurement and description of political phenomena.  Over the past decades, we have […]

In the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks, it has become increasingly difficult to argue that the executive branch of the United States be bounded by constitutional rules that might hamper its capacity to ensure collective security. Given the potentially horrific costs of failing to stop another large-scale terrorist attack, the citizens themselves viewed a rigid […]

By Samuel DeCanio Ever since the initial study of public opinion, political scientists have found voters ignorant of basic political information.  Typically voters cannot name their representatives, describe their actions in office, or explain major policy debates.  Widespread public ignorance has been described as the strongest findings of any of the social sciences. Despite recognizing […]

The forthcoming article “Institutional characteristics and regime survival: Why are semi-democracies less durable than autocracies and democracies?” by Carl Henrik Knutsen and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård is summarized here: In Zaïre (currently DR Congo) in 1991, the country’s personalist ruler Mobutu Sese Seko faced popular unrest, army mutinies, and shrinking resources for patronage. Mobutu was seemingly starting […]


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