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Lecture 9

POL101Y1 lec9.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

POL101Y1 November 5 , 2012 Lec#9 -Experiments in Democracy-  Use experiments to understand why people vote an others don’t , etc…  Milk or tea first? / Mr. Fisher, Muriel Bristol – 8 cups of tea half milk first, half tea first/ she identified all 8 cups correctly.  Fisher exact test  The probability that she could get all the cups correct, by chance, is 1 in 70  We can learn from experiments, we can test peoples claims, treatment and control, randomization, measurement Game Plan  Some important questions… what do we mean by experiment? And why do we do them  Types of experiments-federalism and representation - clientalism and voting Important questions  Does federalism lead to better political representation  Are voters superficial?  How do we stop patronage and instead get public goods  Does contact from political campaigns matter in elections Defining experiments  Treatment/ conditions  Assignment to treatment or control/ comparison groups is random and the process of randomization is known  Ex-post measurements of results  Ex. Does Prof. Kopstein teach better when he wears a tie Treatments  A treatment is a stimulus  Anything that is thought to have an effect on some outcome  It is applied at some times and not others  Or it is appliead at some times and not others  Ex. Whether Prof Kopstein wears a tie to class to teach Random assignment  We put some subjects in treatments and some in control  We do it randomly  Ex. We could flip a coin before every class to se whether Prof. Kopstein would wear a tie Ex post measurement of results  For an experiment to be complete we need to measure results  To make a causal inference, we must have all three parts Measuring effects  What is a causal effect  Difference in outcomes between two states of the world, treated versus untreated  Ti=Yi (treated)- Yi (class with no tie)  Ti=Yi (class with a tie) – Yi (class with no tie)  Why is this problematic  We cannot observe any given subject in both its treated and untreated state  Fundamental problem of causal inference  Random assignment enables us to create two groups whose treated and untreated states are the same in expectation Why do an experiment?  Because we want to make causal inferences  We want them to be about important questions  Does federalism increase representations  Are elections won for superficial reasons
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