Category Archives: Methods

Josh Zingher on social group membership and the evolution of political parties

Josh Zingher has posted his paper “An Analysis of the Changing Social Bases of American Political Parties: 1952-2008” on SSRN. Josh is is a Doctoral Candidate in Political Science at Binghamton University.  His research focuses on several aspects of American politics, including mass political behavior, minority and immigrant politics and Congressional elections.  He can be reached at . Here is the abstract for the paper:

In this article I assess how the social bases of the American political parties have evolved over time. To accomplish this task, I first determine which social group memberships significantly influence individual vote choice with a multivariate analysis of ANES data. I then measure how many votes each politically relevant social group contributed to the party coalitions in each presidential election from 1952-2008. I discuss how group contributions have changed over time and establish the demographic and behavioral causes of group contribution change. I find that the party coalitions have been restructured as a result of groups’ changing voting behavior and the changing ratio of groups in the electorate.

Do Policy Messengers Matter?

If you download this paper, it will change your life — I mean, it will if you believe in the whole ‘Butterfly Effect’ phenomenon …. My co-author, Scott Boddery, recently posted our paper “Do Policy Messengers Matter? Majority Opinion Writers as Policy Ques in Public ‘Buy In’ of Supreme Court Decisions “ on SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

To what degree does the identity of the majority opinion writer affect a citizen’s level of agreement with a U.S. Supreme Court decision? Using a survey experiment, we manipulate the majority opinion authors of two Supreme Court cases between two randomly populated groups. By investigating ideological incongruence between a case’s policy output and the majority opinion author we are able to empirically test the extent to which individuals are willing to agree with a Court opinion that is authored by an ideologically similar justice even though the decision cuts against their self-identified ideological policy preferences. Our study provides insight on the extent to which policy “buy in” by citizens is affected by policy cues represented by the policy messenger of a political institution. We find that, although individuals generally give deference to the Supreme Court’s decisions, a messenger effect indeed augments the specific level of support a given case receives.

Giving, Taking, Altruism, and more

Adam Grant (University of PA – Wharton) has been receiving a good amount of buzz regarding his work on altruism and organizational theory – garnering a NY Times magazine feature, Today Show interview, and more. Here he is below showing off his magic skills and explaining his book “Give and Take”.

Race in the War on Drugs: The Social Consequences of Presidential Rhetoric


Our paper “Race in the War on Drugs The Social Consequences of Presidential Rhetoric” can be found on SSRN. It was presented at the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies and published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. The abstract is available below the fold. Continue reading

Elite Cues and Public Support for the Supreme Court


Tom Clark and Jonathan Kastellec have posted “Elite Cues and Public Support for the Supreme Court” to SSRN. Here’s the abstract: Continue reading

Judicial Elections and Opinion Quality in State Supreme Courts


Damon Cann and Greg Goelzhauser have recently posted “Judicial Elections and Opinion Quality in State Supreme Courts” on SSRN. The graph above provides some of the basics on their measures of opinion clarity. Here’s the abstract: Continue reading

Attack Advertising in State Supreme Court Elections


The above figure is from a recently published paper by Melinda Gann Hall and Chris Bonneau, “Attack Advertising, the White Decision, and Voter Participation in State Supreme Court Elections.” The abstract is available below the fold.  Continue reading