Prof. Bryan Caplan

Econ 854


HW #2 (please type; answers should be 2 pages, double-spaced, + tables)


FYI: To get data from the GSS, go to:  To learn about available variables, select Codebook.  To run regressions, select "Analysis," then "Multiple Regression."


Answer Question #1 plus TWO additional questions!


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.      How have the determinants of party identification changed over time?  Use the GSS to produce a preliminary answer.


3.      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?


4.      Name one policy of the federal government that you believe a majority of Americans oppose.  How does this policy survive?


5.      Consider another country and/or historical era which with you are familiar.  Write a case study of its politics that weighs the explanatory power of the SIVH, group-interest, and ideology.  Be careful to identify the relevant groups and ideological cleavages.