Measuring Public Preferential Polarization
We adapt an axiomatically derived measure of polarization due to Esteban and Ray (1994) to measure polarization of political preferences. Previous work used different measures such as variance, kurtosis, Cronbach's alpha, median distance to median and the mean distance between groups. Yet, none of these measures are theoretically connected to a notion of polarization. Although the initiation of the current one is in the lieu of income inequality measurement, it is conceptually suitable for preferential polarization as well. This paper offers a methodology for that purpose. The second contribution of the paper is that we use the Aldrich-McKelvey Scaling to correct for differential-item functioning in estimating ideal points of the individuals. We use the American National Election Survey Data for years between 1984-2008 to implement the theory offered in the paper. Our findings suggest that there is not a statistically significant increasing trend in polarization in this time period in many issue dimensions but there is an upward trend in the latent ideology dimension which is significant during the 1990s.
|Date of creation:||03 Mar 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00954497|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997.
"Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions,"
NBER Working Papers
6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
- Hetherington, Marc J., 2009. "Review Article: Putting Polarization in Perspective," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(02), pages 413-448, April.
- Dennis J. Downey & Matt L. Huffman, 2001. "Attitudinal Polarization and Trimodal Distributions: Measurement Problems and Theoretical Implications," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 82(3), pages 494-505.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
- Norman Schofield & Christopher Claassen & Ugur Ozdemir & Alexei Zakharov, 2011. "Estimating the effects of activists in two-party and multi-party systems: comparing the United States and Israel," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(3), pages 483-518, April.
- Krehbiel, Keith & Peskowitz, Zachary, 2012. "Legislative Organization and Ideal-Point Bias," Research Papers 2124, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- John H. Evans, 2003. "Have Americans' Attitudes Become More Polarized?-An Update," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(1), pages 71-90.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00954497. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.