Empirical Versus Theoretical Claims About Extreme Counterfactuals: A Response

Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Gary King

Gary King

Harvard University

Langche Zeng

University of California, San Diego

Date Written: Winter 2009

Abstract

In response to the data-based measures of model dependence proposed in King and Zeng (2006), Sambanis and Michaelides (2008) propose alternative measures that rely upon assumptions untestable in observational data. If these assumptions are correct, then their measures are appropriate and ours, based solely on the empirical data, may be too conservative. If instead, and as is usually the case, the researcher is not certain of the precise functional form of the data generating process, the distribution from which the data are drawn, and the applicability of these modeling assumptions to new counterfactuals, then the data-based measures proposed in King and Zeng (2006) are much preferred. After all, the point of model dependence checks is to verify empirically, rather than to stipulate by assumption, the effects of modeling assumptions on counterfactual inferences.

Suggested Citation

King, Gary and Zeng, Langche, Empirical Versus Theoretical Claims About Extreme Counterfactuals: A Response (Winter 2009). Political Analysis, Vol. 17, Issue 1, pp. 107-112, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1448442 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pan/mpn010

Gary King (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1737 Cambridge St.
Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-500-7570 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://gking.harvard.edu

Langche Zeng

University of California, San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

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