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Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water: A Comment on Green, Kim, and Yoon

  • Beck, Nathaniel
  • Katz, Jonathan N.

Donald P. Green, Soo Yeon Kim, and David H. Yoon contribute to theliterature on estimating pooled times-series cross-section models ininternational relations (IR). They argue that such models should beestimated with fixed effects when such effects are statisticallynecessary. While we obviously have no disagreement that sometimes fixedeffects are appropriate, we show here that they are pernicious for IRtime-series cross-section models with a binary dependent variable andthat they are often problematic for IR models with a continuousdependent variable. In the binary case, this perniciousness is theresult of many pairs of nations always being scored zero and hencehaving no impact on the parameter estimates; for example, many dyadsnever come into conflict. In the continuous case, fixed effects areproblematic in the presence of the temporally stable regressors that arecommon IR applications, such as the dyadic democracy measures used byGreen, Kim, and Yoon.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.

Volume (Year): 55 (2001)
Issue (Month): 02 (March)
Pages: 487-495

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Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:55:y:2001:i:02:p:487-495_44
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