Working Papers

 

Population Estimation and Calibration Weighting for Nonresponse and Sampling Bias: An Application to Quota-Sampled Opinion Polls, 1936–53

(with Devin Caughey, Adam Berinsky, Sara Chatfield, Eric Schickler, and Jasjeet Sekhon) [pdf] Between 1936 and 1953, commercial polling firms conducted hundreds of national surveys.  Unfortunately, the firms’ use of quota-sampling procedures rendered the poll samples unrepresentative of the American public in key respects, inhibiting widespread use of these rich data. We report on a project to ameliorate these biases … Continue reading Population Estimation and Calibration Weighting for Nonresponse and Sampling Bias: An Application to Quota-Sampled Opinion Polls, 1936–53

Target Selection as Variable Selection: Using the Lasso to Select Auxiliary Vectors for the Construction of Survey Weights

[pdf] Survey nonresponse is a ubiquitous problem in modern survey research. As individuals have become less likely to respond to surveys there has been a simultaneous rise in highly granular data sources that can be used to help ameliorate the nonresponse problem. While much research has been done on post-hoc weighting methods, which provide a … Continue reading Target Selection as Variable Selection: Using the Lasso to Select Auxiliary Vectors for the Construction of Survey Weights

Employing Matching to Alleviate Bias in Survey Data

[pdf] There are two main obstacles that impede the ability of political scientists to evaluate the effect of campaigns and mass communication. First, it is difficult to measure media and campaign exposure reliably. Surveys often rely on self-reporting from a participant, which is unreliable and contributes to the difficulty of measuring exposure to a message. … Continue reading Employing Matching to Alleviate Bias in Survey Data

Statistical Advances in Post-Election Ballot Auditing (with Ines Levin)

[pdf] Post-election audits are an integral part of the broader election audit process. Depending on the auditing method, they may detect miscounts in the official tabulation of votes, or limit the risk of certifying an incorrect outcome. In this chapter, we review the statistical methods for post-election auditing. We start by illustrating the limitations of … Continue reading Statistical Advances in Post-Election Ballot Auditing (with Ines Levin)

Community Structures: Networks, Detection, and Voter Mobilization (with Betsy Sinclair)

We explore the extent to which individuals are affected by their neighbors’ political contributions.  We analyze all recorded gifts to campaigns and political organizations from donors in the Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District.  All publicly-recorded campaign donations from residents of this district and its environs to federal candidates and political action committees from June 2006 to … Continue reading Community Structures: Networks, Detection, and Voter Mobilization (with Betsy Sinclair)

An Equivalence Approach to Balance and Placebo Tests (with F. Daniel Hidalgo)

[pdf] Recent debates over the difficulty of causal inference in the social sciences has led to the expectation that scholars justify their research designs by testing the plausibility of their causal identification assumptions, often through balance and placebo tests. Yet some methodologists have severely criticized the current status quo of relying on hypothesis tests to … Continue reading An Equivalence Approach to Balance and Placebo Tests (with F. Daniel Hidalgo)

Methods to Alleviate Unit Non-Response Bias in Surveys

The 2012 presidential election saw an explosion of publicly available polling conducted by a wide variety of organizations ranging from university survey centers to large news organizations. Advances in technology and the increasing use of voter files for list-based samples have made conducting surveys more accessible to organizations. Live and robo-call polls remain the most … Continue reading Methods to Alleviate Unit Non-Response Bias in Surveys