Investigating Sequences in Ordinal Data: A New Approach with Adapted Evolutionary Models

30 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2015 Last revised: 24 May 2016

See all articles by Patrik Lindenfors

Patrik Lindenfors

Institute for Future Studies; Stockholm University

Fredrik Jansson

Linkoping University - Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS)

Yi-ting Wang

National Cheng Kung University

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute; Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 1, 2015

Abstract

This paper presents a new approach for studying sequences across combinations of binary and ordinal variables. The approach involves three novel methodologies (frequency analysis, graphical mapping of changes between “events”, and dependency analysis), as well as an established adaptation based on Bayesian dynamical systems. The frequency analysis and graphical approach work by counting and mapping changes in two variables and then determining which variable, if any, more often has a higher value than the other during transitions. The general reasoning is that when transitioning from low values to high, if one variable commonly assumes higher values before the other, this variable is interpreted to be generally preceding the other while moving upwards. A similar reasoning is applied for decreasing variable values. These approaches assume that the two variables are correlated and change along a comparable scale. The dependency analysis investigates what values of one variable are prerequisites for values in another. We also include an established Bayesian approach that models changes from one event combination to another. We illustrate the proposed methodological bundle by analyzing changes driving electoral democracy using the new V-Dem dataset (Coppedge et al. 2015a, b). Our results indicate that changes in electoral democracy are preceded by changes in freedom of expression and access to alternative sources of information.

Suggested Citation

Lindenfors, Patrik and Jansson, Fredrik and Wang, Yi-ting and Lindberg, Staffan I., Investigating Sequences in Ordinal Data: A New Approach with Adapted Evolutionary Models (December 1, 2015). V-Dem Working Paper 2015:18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2704784 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2704784

Patrik Lindenfors (Contact Author)

Institute for Future Studies ( email )

Holländergatan 13
Stockholm, 11136
Sweden
0703418687 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lindenfors.se

Stockholm University ( email )

Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution
Stockholm, S-106 91
Sweden
+46703418687 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.su.se/profiles/patrikj-1.183878

Fredrik Jansson

Linkoping University - Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS) ( email )

Norrköping, 601 74
Sweden

Yi-ting Wang

National Cheng Kung University ( email )

No.1, University Road
Tainan
Taiwan

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/varianter-pa-demokrati--v-dem-/

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

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