Quantitative Methods for political and social research

Periodo di svolgimento
Ore del corso
20
Ore dei docenti responsabili
20
Ore di didattica integrativa
0
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Modalità esame

Relazione di seminario. Class participation

Prerequisiti

This course has no formal prerequisites. No previous knowledge of Stata is required. We understand that students come from diverse backgrounds.

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology."

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance."

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences."

Programma

Overview of the courseThe course will cover some of the most popular methodologies for the quantitative analysis of social and political phenomena using observational data. More specifically, it will consist in several lab sessions using the software STATA, one of the most powerful statistical software that allows conducting quantitative analyses and that is very popular among political and social scientists. The classes will be applied, and students will use the software from the very beginning.

Special emphasis will be placed during the sessions on the empirical work related to the statistical elaboration of students’ PhD/MA thesis. Easy-to-follow Stata do-files will be provided, as will practice datasets, although students are very welcome to use their own data (i.e. surveys and country level data).

The course will offer participants applied perspectives on topics that will be previously defined by students’ research interests. Broadly speaking, it will be focused on the analysis of the relationships between independent and dependent variables, the presentation of the results (also graphically) and their interpretation.

Course formatThe course is articulated into seven lab sessions according to the timetable provided below. This short course will offer participants an applied perspective. Students are required to present their research goals, describing the research question and the research design. Lab sessions will show the implementation of the proper methodologies using the software Stata for the development of students’ research project.

Examination procedure.

60% Class participation

40% Oral presentation of students’ research project: quantitative methodological aspects, potential data and modelling (Italian or English)

Schedule

Session N. 1 Introduction to quantitative methods for political and social research

(08/11/2021, h. 10-13)

In the first session we will focus on the presentation of the course. This will be done by reviewing the main quantitative methodologies for the study of political and social issues. Then, students will briefly present their research questions. Finally, we will resume basic Stata commands following a syntax provided by the instructor.

Required readings:

  1. Acocks (2014). A Gentle Introduction to Stata. Stata Press. Chapters from 1 to 4.

 

Session N. 2 The link between the research question and the research design: fundamentals  

(15/11/2021, h. 10-13)

In this second session we will discuss the fundamentals for a correct development of one’s research project, the link between the research question and research design. Moreover, we will review relevant concepts such as correlation, causation, missing values and non-response issues. Finally, we will finalize the summary of the basic Stata commands following a syntax provided by the lecturer.

Required readings:

 

  1. Kellstedt, P. M., & Whitten, G. D. (2018). The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. Cambridge University Press. Chapters from 3 to 5.
  2. Acocks (2014). A Gentle Introduction to Stata. Stata Press. Chapters from 5 to 9.

 

Session N. 3 Essentials of linear regression models

(22/11/2021, h. 10-13)

In the third session, we aim at reviewing the basics on two-variable regression models and multiple regression modelling. We discuss the potential implementation of this methodology for students’ project development. The lecturer briefly presents two empirical articles that use regression modelling for the test of the hypotheses. Students replicate the Stata syntax provided by the authors of two published articles.

Required readings:

  1. Kellstedt, P. M., & Whitten, G. D. (2018). The Fundamentals of Political Science Research. Cambridge University Press. Chapters 9 and 10.
  2. Acocks (2014). A Gentle Introduction to Stata. Stata Press. Chapter 10.

 

Session N. 4 Essential of logistic regression models and main data sources for the use of quantitative methodologies: international and national surveys 

(26/11/2021, h. 14-17)

During the fourth session, the lecturer presents a first extensions of OLS (ordinary least squares) regression models. We place a lot of emphasis on understanding published research that implement logistic regression. Students replicate the Stata syntax provided by the lecturer.

We then introduce some of the most important international and national surveys, on political attitudes and values, such as ESS, WVS, WVS, Eurobarometers and Gallup Surveys.

Required readings:

  1. Acocks (2014). A Gentle Introduction to Stata. Stata Press. Chapter 11.

Additional readings:

  1. .ESS questionnaires

www.europeansocialsurvey.org/methodology/ess_methodology/source_questionnaire/

  1. EUROBAROMETER (standard) 

https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/about/eurobarometer

 

Session N. 5 Policy evaluation modelling, multilevel models, event history analyses, meta-analysis. A brief review of advanced-methodologies and their limitations.

(29/11/2021, h. 14-16)

The fifth session will look at advanced statistical methodologies. In particular, it will look at policy evaluation modelling, multilevel analysis, event history analysis (EHA) and meta-analysis. Understanding these models will allow students to understand most of the quantitative studies in social science and sociolog. Finally, we will discuss in depth the limitations of these methodologies (e.g. assumptions, publication bias, measurement bias).

Required readings:

  1.      Acocks (2014). A Gentle Introduction to Stata. Stata Press. Chapter 12- 13 and 15

Session N. 6 In depth discussion of the methodology of students’ project: a quantitative perspective (1)

(13/12/2021, h. 10-13)

This session will focus on student’s project on methodological issues related to their research agenda.

 

Session N. 7  In depth discussion of the methodology of students’ project: a quantitative perspective (2)

(17/12/2021, h. 10-13)

This session will focus on student’s project on methodological issues related to their research agenda.

Obiettivi formativi

By the end of the course, students will be able to develop autonomously the descriptive and, partly, the analytical sections of their thesis.