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Estimating Legislators' Preferred Points

  • John Londregan (a1)
Abstract

This paper shows that agnostic spatial models that simultaneously attempt to estimate legislators' preferred points and ideological locations for the proposals on which they vote, such as the well-known NOMINATE model of Poole and Rosenthal, are not identified. The problem arises because the agnostic estimators inherit the granularity of the voting data and, so, cannot recapture the underlying continuous parameter space. I propose an alternative estimator that achieves identification by modeling the agenda.

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References
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Henry Brady . 1991. “Traits Versus Issues: Factor Versus Ideal-Point Analysis of Candidate Thermometer Ratings.” Political Analysis 2: 97129.

Gerhard H. Fischer 1995. “Derivations of the Rasch Model.” In Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments and Applications, ed. Gerhard H. Fischer New York: Springer Verlag.

S. J. Haberman 1977. “Maximum Likelihood Estimates in Exponential Response Models.” Annals of Statistics 5: 815841.

John B. Londregan 2000. Legislative Institutions and Ideology in Chile's Democratic Transition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Frederic M. Lord 1983. “Unbiased Estimates of Ability Parameters, of Their Variance, and of Their Parallel Forms Reliability.” Psychometrika 48: 477482.

L. L. Thurstone 1925. “A Method of Scaling Psychological and Educational Tests.” Journal of Educational Psychology 16: 433451.

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Political Analysis
  • ISSN: 1047-1987
  • EISSN: 1476-4989
  • URL: /core/journals/political-analysis
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