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Democracy as a Latent Variable

Treier, Shawn; Jackman, Simon


We apply formal, statistical measurement models to the Polity indicators, used widely in studies of international relations to measure democracy. In so doing, we make explicit the hitherto implicit assumptions underlying scales built using the Polity indicators. Modeling democracy as a latent variable allows us to assess the "noise" (measurement error) in the resulting measure. We show that this measurement error is considerable and has substantive consequences when using a measure of democracy...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2008
Type: Journal article
Source: American Journal of Political Science
DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2007.00308.x


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