Archive for the ‘Research Methods’ Category


Partisan Polarization

August 20, 2011

McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal, Polarized America (2006)



May 31, 2011

In the Washington Post (5/29):

“A Virginia Tech graduate student hit save on her overview of the state workers’ compensation commission one spring day, but before her professor could take a look at it, someone else began deleting entire sections, calling them trivial and promotional.

 It wasn’t a teaching assistant on a power trip — it was a Wikipedia editor known only as “Mean as custard.”

 “I had worked on it for almost an entire day,” said Amy Pearson, a public administration master’s student. “It was kind of shocking.”

 This school year, dozens of professors from across the country gave students an unexpected assignment: Write Wikipedia entries about public policy issues.”

What lazy academic subjects students to the arbitrary authority of a nameless Wikipedia editors?

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Lunchtime Workshop – Thursday, June 9th

May 27, 2011

Alexandria Quality of Life Initiative – Lunchtime Workshop Series

Calling All Surveys:

Collecting Data Across Departments & Nonprofits

Thursday, June 9, 2011 – Noon -1pm

Check out the announcement here.

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The Amazing Apportionment Machine

December 20, 2010

From the Official US Census Bureau Blog: “Through animation, the US Census Bureau helps explain how the apportionment formula is used to ensure equal representation for all, just like the Founding Fathers planned.” On NPR, the political context.


Observing Public Organizations

August 17, 2010

Washington, DC - December 1941 - John Colliear (FSA)

Fall again, so soon! This semester I’m offering a new course PAPA 6254 – Observing Public Organizations. The title seems a little self-explanatory, but check out the syllabus if you’re curious.


EPA Brownfields Program Support

March 13, 2010

Matthew Dull and Kris Wernstedt. 2010.  “Land Recycling, Community Revitalization, and Distributive Politics: An Analysis of EPA Brownfields Program Support.” Policy Studies Journal. 38:1.

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Missing Something?

February 11, 2010


Professor Matt Dull of Virginia Tech will present “Missing Something Important?: Using the Heckman Selection Model in Policy Research” on Wednesday, March 3rd from Noon – 1:30 in 309 Marvin Center. The Marvin Center is on the corner of 21st and H.

This talk will provide a nontechnical introduction to the use of the Heckman selection procedure to correct bias in the estimation of regression models due to nonrandom sample selection. Do you want to perform a regression analysis but worry your sample is biased due to missing observations that may be related to a variable of interest? The Heckman correction estimates a two stage model: first, a selection equation with a dichotomous dependent variable equaling 1 for observed and 0 for missing values; and second, an outcome equation predicting the model’s dependent variable. If correctly specified, the Heckman model produces unbiased parameter estimates and may even provide some useful information. Does your theory predict which cases may be missing? Drawing on two applications relevant to policy research – analysis of federal grant program applicants and analysis of survey data with a large number of “I don’t know” or “No-basis to judge” responses – I’ll discuss the Heckman technique as a potentially rich opportunity for (cautious) inference.

Matt Dull is Assistant Professor in the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech’s North Virginia campus. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2006.