[gov3009-l] Gov 3009 March 12: Desposato

Elizabeth Stuart stuart@stat.harvard.edu
Mon, 10 Mar 2003 08:26:06 -0500 (EST)

This week's speaker at the Gov 3009 workshop is Scott Desposato from the 
University of Arizona.  He will be speaking on "Correcting for Bias in 
Roll-Call Cohesion Scores."  An abstract is below, and a link to the full 
paper can be found at:  http://www.u.arizona.edu/~swd/rb.pdf

Cohesion scores are a standard measure of legislative behavior and common
in legislative studies. Their strengths explain their wide use: cohesion
scores are simple, intuitive, and easy to calculate. Perhaps because of
this, little attention has been paid to cohesion scores' statistical
properties or relationship to existing theories of legislative behavior.
In this paper, I show how under a basic random utility model of
legislative behavior, cohesion scores suffer a serious bias problem:
scores are artificially inflated for small parties and weak parties. This
bias challenges a consistent finding in the comparative literature on
political parties; that small parties are consistently more disciplined
than large parties. I propose an intuitive solution that will eliminate
bias for a wide variety of models: making large parties smaller
by drawing samples without replacement from them.

Seminar Information:
The seminar meets at noon in Room 22, Center for Basic Research
in Social Sciences (CBRSS, 34 Kirkland St., this is the yellow building
across the street from William James Hall). Contact information, previous
presentations, and the spring schedule may be found at the course web
site: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~gov3009/.  Lunch is provided.

To join the gov3009 mailing list, send e-mail to
gov3009-l-request@fas.harvard.edu with the following text message:


Questions?  Please contact the workshop coordinator, Liz Stuart, at