Prof. Bryan Caplan
1. Collect data on ONE item of public opinion or voter preference from the General Social Survey, and empirically test for the relative explanatory power of the SIVH, group-interest, and ideology. Then write a brief note explaining your topic, method, and results. (2 pages, double-spaced, plus tables)
To get data from the GSS, go to: http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/GSS. Once you know what variables you want to examine, click on Analyze. Then select "Analysis," then "Multiple Regression."
2. Write a referee report on one published empirical paper of your choice about voter motivation and/or ideology. How convincing are the authors' empirical methods? Why? How could the paper have been improved? What new directions would you recommend for further research on the topic? (2 pages, double-spaced)
3. Select a theoretical paper on some sort of "political failure." Pretending you are Donald Wittman, critique the paper's thesis. What are the objectionable assumptions that drive the results? (2 pages, double-spaced)