Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 147
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Anderson, Ross P. Jimenez, Geronimo Bae, Jin Yung Silver, Diana Macinko, James and Porfiri, Maurizio 2016. Understanding Policy Diffusion in the U.S.: An Information-Theoretical Approach to Unveil Connectivity Structures in Slowly Evolving Complex Systems. SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 1384.

    Beaver, Kevin M. Schwartz, Joseph A. Connolly, Eric J. Said Al-Ghamdi, Mohammed Kobeisy, Ahmed Nezar Barnes, J.C. and Boutwell, Brian B. 2016. Intelligence and early life mortality: Findings from a longitudinal sample of youth. Death Studies, Vol. 40, Issue. 5, p. 298.

    Calabrese, Raffaella Degl’Innocenti, Marta and Osmetti, Silvia Angela 2016. The effectiveness of TARP-CPP on the US Banking Industry: a new copula-based approach. European Journal of Operational Research,

    Choi, Seung-Whan and Piazza, James A. 2016. Ethnic groups, political exclusion and domestic terrorism. Defence and Peace Economics, Vol. 27, Issue. 1, p. 37.

    Cohen, Susan K. Hsu, Sean T. and Dahlin, Kristina B. 2016. With Whom Do Technology Sponsors Partner During Technology Battles? Social Networking Strategies for Unproven (and Proven) Technologies. Organization Science,

    Dill, Verena Jirjahn, Uwe and Smith, Stephen C. 2016. Do foreign owners favour short-term profit? Evidence from Germany. Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 40, Issue. 1, p. 123.

    Griffith, James 2016. A Description of Suicides in the Army National Guard During 2007-2014 and Associated Risk Factors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior,

    He, Qiao-Qiao Wu, Jia-Jia Ji, Ting Tao, Yi and Mace, Ruth 2016. Not leaving home: grandmothers and male dispersal in a duolocal human society. Behavioral Ecology, p. arw053.

    Jung, Sung Chul 2016. Nuclear aggressors, nuclearizing targets: nuclear weapon development and preventive conflict. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, p. lcw006.

    Stock, Ruth Maria von Hippel, Eric and Gillert, Nils Lennart 2016. Impacts of personality traits on consumer innovation success. Research Policy, Vol. 45, Issue. 4, p. 757.

    Theofilatos, Athanasios Yannis, George Kopelias, Pantelis and Papadimitriou, Fanis 2016. Predicting Road Accidents: A Rare-events Modeling Approach. Transportation Research Procedia, Vol. 14, p. 3399.

    Addington, Lynn A. and Rennison, Callie Marie 2015. Keeping the Barbarians Outside the Gate? Comparing Burglary Victimization in Gated and Non-Gated Communities. Justice Quarterly, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, p. 168.

    Agnello, Luca Castro, Vitor Jalles, João Tovar and Sousa, Ricardo M. 2015. Fiscal consolidation and financial reforms. Applied Economics, Vol. 47, Issue. 34-35, p. 3740.

    Chen, Q. 2015. Climate shocks, dynastic cycles and nomadic conquests: evidence from historical China. Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 67, Issue. 2, p. 185.

    Duanmu, Jing-Lin 2015. External Finance and the Foreign Direct Investment Decision: Evidence from Privately Owned Enterprises in China. International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 23.

    Ellwanger, Nils and Boschma, Ron 2015. Who Acquires Whom? The Role of Geographical Proximity and Industrial Relatedness in Dutch Domestic M&As between 2002 and 2008. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, Vol. 106, Issue. 5, p. 608.

    Etienne, X. L. Irwin, S. H. and Garcia, P. 2015. Price Explosiveness, Speculation, and Grain Futures Prices. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 97, Issue. 1, p. 65.

    Ferragina, Anna M. and Mazzotta, Fernanda 2015. Agglomeration economies in Italy: impact on heterogeneous firms’ exit in a multilevel framework. Economia e Politica Industriale, Vol. 42, Issue. 4, p. 395.

    Gattermann, Katjana and Hefftler, Claudia 2015. Beyond Institutional Capacity: Political Motivation and Parliamentary Behaviour in the Early Warning System. West European Politics, Vol. 38, Issue. 2, p. 305.

    Goelzhauser, Greg 2015. Silent Acquiescence on the Supreme Court. Justice System Journal, Vol. 36, Issue. 1, p. 3.


Explaining Rare Events in International Relations


Some of the most important phenomena in international conflict are coded as “rare events”: binary dependent variables with dozens to thousands of times fewer events, such as wars and coups, than “nonevents.” Unfortunately, rare events data are difficult to explain and predict, a problem stemming from at least two sources. First, and most important, the data-collection strategies used in international conflict studies are grossly inefficient. The fear of collecting data with too few events has led to data collections with huge numbers of observations but relatively few, and poorly measured, explanatory variables. As it turns out, more efficient sampling designs exist for making valid inferences, such as sampling all available events (wars, for example) and a tiny fraction of nonevents (peace). This enables scholars to save as much as 99 percent of their (nonfixed) data-collection costs or to collect much more meaningful explanatory variables. Second, logistic regression, and other commonly used statistical procedures, can underestimate the probability of rare events. We introduce some corrections that outperform existing methods and change the estimates of absolute and relative risks by as much as some estimated effects reported in the literature. We also provide easy-to-use methods and software that link these two results, enabling both types of corrections to work simultaneously.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Nathaniel Beck , Gary King , and Langche Zeng . 2001. Improving Quantitative Studies of International Conflict: A Conjecture. American Political Science Review 94 (1):2135.

Norman E. Breslow 1996. Statistics in Epidemiology: The Case-control Study. Journal of the American Statistical Association 91 (433): 1428.

Daniel S. Geller , and J. David Singer . 1998. Nations at War: A Scientific Study of International Conflict. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Paul W. Holland , and Donald B. Rubin . 1988. Causal Inference in Retrospective Studies. Evaluation Review 12 (3):203–31.

Paul K. Huth 1988. Extended Deterrence and the Outbreak of War. American Political Science Review 82 (2):423–43.

David A. Hsieh , Charles F. Manski , and Daniel McFadden . 1985. Estimation of Response Probabilities from Augmented Retrospective Observations. Journal of the American Statistical Association 80 (391):651–62.

Guido Imbens . 1992. An Efficient Method of Moments Estimator for Discrete Choice Models with Choice-Based Sampling. Econometrica 60 (5):11871214.

Tony Lancaster , and Guido Imbens . 1996a. Case-Control with Contaminated Controls. Journal of Econometrics 71 (1–2):145–60.

Charles F. Manski , and Steven R. Lerman . 1977. The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice-based Samples. Econometrica 45 (8):1977–88.

Zeev Maoz , and Bruce Russett . 1993. Normative and Structural Causes of Democratic Peace, 1946–86. American Political Science Review 87 (3):624–38.

Nico J. D. Nagelkerke , Stephen Moses , Francis A. Plummer , Robert C. Brunham , and David Fish . 1995. Logistic Regression in Case-control Studies: The Effect of Using Independent as Dependent Variables. Statistics in Medicine 14 (8):769–75.

R. L. Prentice , and R. Pyke . 1979. Logistic Disease Incidence Models and Case-control Studies. Biometrika 66 (3):403–11.

Brian D. Ripley 1996. Pattern Recognition and Neural Networks. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Robert L. Schaefer 1983. Bias Correction in Maximum Likelihood Logistic Regression. Statistics in Medicine 2:7178.

Curtis S. Signorino 1999. Strategic Interaction and the Statistical Analysis of International Conflict. American Political Science Review 93 (2):279–87.

Curtis S. Signorino , and Jeffrey M. Ritter . 1999. Tau-b or Not Tau-b: Measuring the Similarity of Foreign Policy Positions. International Studies Quarterly 43 (1):115–44.

John A. Vasquez 1993. The War Puzzle. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *