Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2265625
 
 

Citations (3)



 


 



On the Validity of the Regression Discontinuity Design for Estimating Electoral Effects: New Evidence from over 40,000 Close Races


Andrew Eggers


London School of Economics

Anthony Fowler


University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies

Jens Hainmueller


Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business

Andrew B. Hall


Harvard University - Department of Government

James M. Snyder Jr.


Harvard University

March 2014

American Journal of Political Science (Forthcoming)
Formerly MIT Political Science Department Working Paper Series No 2013-26

Abstract:     
The regression discontinuity (RD) design is a valuable tool for identifying electoral effects, but this design is only effective when relevant actors do not have precise control over election results. Several recent papers contend that such precise control is possible in large elections, pointing out that the incumbent party is more likely to win very close elections in the U.S. House of Representatives in recent periods. In this paper, we examine whether similar patterns occur in other electoral settings, including the U.S. House in other time periods, statewide, state legislative, and mayoral races in the U.S., and national or local elections in a variety of other countries. No other case exhibits this pattern. We also cast doubt on suggested explanations for incumbent success in close House races. We conclude that the assumptions behind the RD design are likely to be met in a wide variety of electoral settings and offer a set of best practices for RD researchers going forward.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: regression discontinuity, election, causal inference

JEL Classification: C14; C21

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 16, 2013 ; Last revised: March 16, 2014

Suggested Citation

Eggers, Andrew and Fowler, Anthony and Hainmueller, Jens and Hall, Andrew B. and Snyder, James M., On the Validity of the Regression Discontinuity Design for Estimating Electoral Effects: New Evidence from over 40,000 Close Races (March 2014). Formerly MIT Political Science Department Working Paper Series No 2013-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2265625 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2265625

Contact Information

Andrew Eggers
London School of Economics ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
Anthony Fowler (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )
1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Jens Hainmueller
Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/
Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
Andrew B. Hall
Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
James M. Snyder Jr.
Harvard University ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,051
Downloads: 342
Download Rank: 48,881
Citations:  3

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.453 seconds