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Estimating the Impact of State Policies and Institutions with Mixed-Level Data

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Abstract

Researchers often seek to understand the effects of state policies or institutions on individualbehavior or other outcomes in sub-state-level observational units (e.g., election results in statelegislative districts). However, standard estimation methods applied to such models do notproperly account for the clustering of observations within states and may lead researchers tooverstate the statistical significance of state-level factors. We discuss the theory behind twoapproaches to dealing with clustering clustered standard errors and multilevel modeling. Wethen demonstrate the relevance of this topic by replicating a recent study of the effects of statepost-registration laws on voter turnout (Wolfinger, Highton, and Mullin 2005). While we viewclustered standard errors as a more straightforward, feasible approach, especially when workingwith large datasets or many cross-level interactions, our purpose in this Practical Researcherpiece is to draw attention to the issue of clustering in state and local politics research.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Milyo & David M. Primo & Matthew L. Jacobsmeier, 2006. "Estimating the Impact of State Policies and Institutions with Mixed-Level Data," Working Papers 0603, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  • Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0603
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    File URL: https://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2006/wp0603_milyo.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Brilli, Ylenia & Del Boca, Daniela & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2011. "Exploring the Impacts of Public Childcare on Mothers and Children in Italy: Does Rationing Play a Role?," IZA Discussion Papers 5918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Daniel Schneider & Kristen Harknett & Sara McLanahan, 2016. "Intimate Partner Violence in the Great Recession," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(2), pages 471-505, April.
    3. Kappeler, Andreas & Solé-Ollé, Albert & Stephan, Andreas & Välilä, Timo, 2013. "Does fiscal decentralization foster regional investment in productive infrastructure?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 15-25.
    4. repec:gig:joupla:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:127-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Peter Huber & Thomas Leoni & Hans Pitlik, 2013. "Reforming Welfare States," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 1, WWWforEurope.
    6. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Orazem, Peter F., 2006. "Reexamining Rural Decline: How Changing Rural Classifications Affect Perceived Growth," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 36(2), pages 163-191.
    7. Kieron Barclay & Martin Kolk, 2015. "Birth Order and Mortality: A Population-Based Cohort Study," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 613-639, April.
    8. Erik Jonasson, 2011. "Informal Employment and the Role of Regional Governance," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 429-441, August.
    9. Ludek Kouba & Hans Pitlik, 2014. "I wanna live my life: Locus of Control and Support for the Welfare State," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2014-46, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    10. Pourya Darnihamedani & Joern Hendrich Block & Jolanda Hessels & Aram Simonyan, 2015. "Start-up Costs, Taxes and Innovative Entrepreneurship," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-013/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Stephens, Heather & Partridge, Mark, 2012. "Lake Amenities, Environmental Degradation, and Great Lakes Regional Growth," MPRA Paper 43903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta & Chiara Pronzato, 2012. "On the local labor market determinants of female university enrolment in European regions," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 278, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    13. Sanghee Park & Byong Kim, 2014. "Who is Appointed to What Position? The Politics of Appointment in Quangos of Korea," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 325-351, September.
    14. D. Hillygus & Sarah Treul, 2014. "Assessing strategic voting in the 2008 US presidential primaries: the role of electoral context, institutional rules, and negative votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 517-536, December.
    15. Tommaso Agasisti, 2013. "Competition Among Italian Junior-Secondary Schools: A Variance-Decomposition Empirical Analysis," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(1), pages 17-42, March.
    16. Feng Hou, 2014. "Keep Up with the Joneses or Keep on as Their Neighbours: Life Satisfaction and Income in Canadian Urban Neighbourhoods," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 1085-1107, October.
    17. Hans Pitlik & Ludek Kouba, 2013. "The interrelation of informal institutions and governance quality in shaping Welfare State attitudes," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 38, WWWforEurope.
    18. Yongqiang Gao & Ya Lisa Lin & Haibin Yang, 2017. "What’s the value in it? Corporate giving under uncertainty," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 215-240, March.
    19. Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 341-360, December.
    20. Colleen Honigsberg & Sharon Katz & Gil Sadka, 2014. "State Contract Law and Debt Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 1031-1061.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mixed-level data; voter turnout;

    JEL classification:

    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • D79 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Other
    • H79 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other

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