Improving Data Quality: Actors, Incentives, and Capabilities

Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Yoshiko M. Herrera

Yoshiko M. Herrera

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science

Devesh Kapur

University of Pennsylvania - Center for the Advanced Study of India; Center for Global Development

Abstract

This paper examines the construction and use of data sets in political science. We focus on three interrelated questions: How might we assess data quality? What factors shape data quality? and How can these factors be addressed to improve data quality? We first outline some problems with existing data set quality, including issues of validity, coverage, and accuracy, and we discuss some ways of identifying problems as well as some consequences of data quality problems. The core of the paper addresses the second question by analyzing the incentives and capabilities facing four key actors in a data supply chain: respondents, data collection agencies (including state bureaucracies and private organizations), international organizations, and finally, academic scholars. We conclude by making some suggestions for improving the use and construction of data sets.

Suggested Citation

Herrera, Yoshiko M. and Kapur, Devesh, Improving Data Quality: Actors, Incentives, and Capabilities. Political Analysis, Vol. 15, Issue 4, pp. 365-386, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1448381 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pan/mpm007

Yoshiko M. Herrera (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Devesh Kapur

University of Pennsylvania - Center for the Advanced Study of India ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/casi/about/devesh.html

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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