[gov3009-l] Applied Statistics Workshop: Arthur Spirling on Wednesday, Sept. 28

Konstantin Kashin kkashin at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Sep 26 02:10:38 EDT 2011

Dear all,

Please join us for the Applied Statistics Workshop (Gov 3009) this
Wednesday, September 28 from 12.00 - 1.30 pm in CGIS Knafel Room 354. Arthur
Spirling, Assistant Professor at the Department of Government at Harvard
University, will present a paper entitled "Partisan Convergence in
Executive-Legislative Interactions: Modeling Debates in the House of
Commons, 1832-1915". As always, a light lunch will be provided.

The abstract for the presentation is:

*We consider the interaction between members of the executive and
backbenchers in the House of Commons between the Great Reform Act and the
Great War, a period of radical internal reform that birthed the Westminster
system in its current form. We gather new data of over a million speeches in
seventeen thousand debates to model the way in which the cabinet-legislative
relationship changed over time. In particular, we conceptualize debates as
Markov chains moving between speaker states and focus on estimating
transition probabilities of the same. We take a Bayesian mixed model
approach, allowing for debate-level and ministry-level variation. We show a
remarkable "convergence" in the behavior of ministers from different
parties, beginning between the mid-1870s and late-1880s and coinciding with
a series of important standing orders relating to the ability to ask
questions in the Commons. While Tory ministers generally become more
responsive, Liberal ministers are less involved in debate.*

An up-to-date schedule for the workshop is available at


Konstantin Kashin
Ph.D. Student in Government
Harvard University

Mobile: 978-844-0538
E-mail: kkashin at fas.harvard.edu
Site: http://people.fas.harvard.edu/~kkashin/
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