Interpersonal Incomparability in Citizens’ Views of Democracy: Survey Evidence from Ukraine

50 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2017

See all articles by Aaron Erlich

Aaron Erlich

McGill University

Calvin Garner

University of Washington

Date Written: December 21, 2017

Abstract

Do regional differences within a single country influence how survey respondents use response scales when evaluating concepts like democracy? Further, what determines how respondents will assess the level of democracy associated with a given government? We test two sets of hypotheses to answer these questions. First, we hypothesize differential item function exists within Ukraine and can be corrected for by using anchoring vignettes. Second, we hypothesize that evaluation of democracy will be correlated with political support for the president. We find support for both hypotheses using a nationally representative survey of Ukraine. Additionally, an analysis of the responses to the vignettes suggests that many Ukrainians view democracy as more binary in nature than on a nuanced sliding scale. Finally, we make recommendations for researchers to deploy anchoring vignettes in sub-national survey research.

Keywords: Anchoring Vignettes, Democratization, Survey Methodology, Ukraine

JEL Classification: D72, C83

Suggested Citation

Erlich, Aaron and Garner, Calvin, Interpersonal Incomparability in Citizens’ Views of Democracy: Survey Evidence from Ukraine (December 21, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3091719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3091719

Aaron Erlich (Contact Author)

McGill University ( email )

Calvin Garner

University of Washington ( email )

101 Gowen Hall
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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