Maximizing the reliability of cross-national measures of presidential power
Elgie, Robert and Doyle, David (2014) Maximizing the reliability of cross-national measures of presidential power. In: International Political Science Association biennial conference, 20-24 Jul 2014, Montreal, Canada.
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This paper aims to maximize the reliability of presidential power scores for a larger number of countries and time periods than currently exists for any single measure and in a way that is replicable and easy to update. We begin by identifying all of the studies that have estimated the effect of a presidential power variable, clarifying what scholars have attempted to capture when they have operationalized the concept of presidential power. We then identify all of the measures of presidential power that have been proposed over the years, noting the problems that are associated with them. To generate our new set of presidential power scores, we draw upon the comparative and local knowledge embedded in existing measures of presidential power. Employing principal component analysis together with the expectation maximization algorithm and maximum likelihood estimation, we generate a set of presidential power scores for a larger set of countries and country time periods than currently exists, reporting 95 per cent confidence intervals and standard errors for the scores. Finally, we discuss the implications of the new set of scores for future studies of presidential power.
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