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Sensitive Questions, Truthful Answers? Modeling the List Experiment with LISTIT

  • Daniel Corstange (a1)
Abstract

Standard estimation procedures assume that empirical observations are accurate reflections of the true values of the dependent variable, but this assumption is dubious when modeling self-reported data on sensitive topics. List experiments (a.k.a. item count techniques) can nullify incentives for respondents to misrepresent themselves to interviewers, but current data analysis techniques are limited to difference-in-means tests. I present a revised procedure and statistical estimator called LISTIT that enable multivariate modeling of list experiment data. Monte Carlo simulations and a field test in Lebanon explore the behavior of this estimator.

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e-mail: dcorstange@gvpt.umd.edu (corresponding author)
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Author's Note: My thanks to Robert Axelrod, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Sarah Croco, Adam Glynn, Sunshine Hillygus, John Jackson, Luke Keele, Gary King, James Kuklinski, Irfan Nooruddin, Mark Tessler, Ashutosh Varshney, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. Replication materials are available on the Political Analysis web site.

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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.

A. J. Berinsky 1999. The two faces of public opinion. American Journal of Political Science 43(4): 1209–30.

J. Brehm 1993. The phantom respondents. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

T. Chalabi 2006. The Shi'is of Jabal ‘Amil and the New Lebanon. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

A. G. Greenwald , D. E. McGhee , and J. L. K. Schwartz 1998. Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74(6): 1464–80.

J. Kane , S. Craig , and K. Wald 2004. Religion and presidential politics in Florida: A list experiment. Social Science Quarterly 85(2): 281–93.

J. H. Kuklinski , M. D. Cobb , and M. Gilens 1997. Racial attitudes and the “New South”. Journal of Politics 59(2): 323–49.

S. M. Zdep , I. Rhodes , R. M. Schwarz , and M. Kilkenny 1979. The validity of the randomized response technique. Public Opinion Quarterly 43(4): 544–9.

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