Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Challenges to Inference in the Study of Crisis Bargaining*

Abstract

The possibility that actors strategically condition their behavior on partially unobservable factors poses a grave challenge to causal inference, particularly if only some of the actors whose behavior we analyze are at risk of experiencing the outcome of interest. We present a crisis bargaining model that indicates that targets can generally prevent war by arming. We then create a simulated data set where the model is assumed to perfectly describe interactions for those states engaged in crisis bargaining, which we assume most pairs of states are not. We further assume researchers cannot observe which states are engaged in crisis bargaining, although observable variables might serve as proxies. We demonstrate that a naïve design would falsely (and unsurprisingly) indicate a positive relationship between arming and war. More importantly, we then evaluate the performance of matching, instrumental variables, and statistical backwards induction. The latter two show some promise, but matching fares poorly.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All

Philip Arena, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Rochester, Harkness Hall, Rochester, NY 14627 (filarena99@gmail.com). Kyle A. Joyce, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of California, Davis One Shields Ave., 469 Kerr Hall, Davis, CA 95616 (kjoyce@ucdavis.edu). The authors thank Amber Boydstun, Daina Chiba, Sean Gailmard, Heather McKibben, Randy Siverson, Zeev Maoz, Jamie Monogan III, Bill Reed, Toby Rider, Jas Sekhon, and Curt Signorino for valuable comments. The authors also thank Matt Buttice for research assistance. This article also benefited from comments provided by the participants at EITM (2010) and attendees of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology (2010). To view supplementary material for this article, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2014.42

Footnotes
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.

Muhammet Ali Bas , Curtis S. Signorino , and Robert Walker . 2008. ‘Statistical Backwards Induction: A Simple Method for Estimating Recursive Strategic Models’. Political Analysis 16(1):2140.

John Bound , David Jaeger , and Regina Baker . 1995. ‘Problems with Instrumental Variable Estimation When the Correlation Between Instruments and the Endogenous Explanatory Variable is Weak’. Journal of the American Statistical Association 90(430):443450.

Kevin Clarke . 2009. ‘Return of the Phantom Menace: Omitted Variable Bias in Political Research’. Conflict Management and Peace Science 26(1):4666.

David Freedman , and Jasjeet Sekhon . 2010. ‘Endogeneity in Probit Response Models’. Political Analysis 18(2):138150.

Douglas Gibler , Toby J. Rider , and Marc Hutchison . 2005. ‘Taking Arms Against a Sea of Troubles: Conventional Arms Races During Periods of Rivalry’. Journal of Peace Research 42(2):131147.

Kosuke Imai , Gary King , and Olivia Lau . 2008. ‘Toward a Common Framework for Statistical Analysis and Development’. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 17(4):892913.

Daniel Jones , Stuart Bremer , and J. David Singer . 1996. ‘Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1816-1992: Rationale, Coding Rules, and Empirical Patterns’. Conflict Management and Peace Science 15(2):163213.

Douglas Lemke , and William Reed . 2001. ‘The Relevance of Politically Relevant Dyads’. Journal of Conflict Resolution 45(1):126144.

Jeffrey Lewis , and Kenneth Schultz . 2003. ‘Revealing Preferences: Empirical Estimation of a Crisis Bargaining Game with Incomplete Information’. Political Analysis 11(4):345367.

Toby J. Rider , Michael G. Findley , and Paul F. Diehl . 2011. ‘Just Part of the Game? Arms Races, Rivalry, and War’. Journal of Peace Research 48(1):85100.

Jasjeet S. Sekhon . 2009. ‘Opiates for the Matches: Matching Methods for Causal Inference’. Annual Review of Political Science 12:487508.

Jasjeet S. Sekhon . 2011. ‘Multivariate and Propensity Score Matching Software with Automated Balance Optimization: The Matching Package for R’. Journal of Statistical Software 42(7):152.

Curtis S. Signorino , and Kuzey Yilmaz . 2003. ‘Strategic Misspecification in Regression Models’. American Journal of Political Science 47(3):551566.

Branislav Slantchev . 2011. Military Threats: The Costs of Coercion and the Price of Peace. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Allison J. Sovey , and Donald P. Green . 2011. ‘Instrumental Variables Estimation in Political Science: A Reader’s Guide’. American Journal of Political Science 55(1):188200.

Jonathan Wand . 2006. ‘Comparing Models of Strategic Choice: The Role of Uncertainty and Signaling’. Political Analysis 14(1):101120.

Jun Xiang . 2010. ‘Relevance as a Latent Variable in Dyadic Analysis of Conflict’. Journal of Politics 72(2):484498.

Recommend this journal

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

Political Science Research and Methods
  • ISSN: 2049-8470
  • EISSN: 2049-8489
  • URL: /core/journals/political-science-research-and-methods
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Arena and Joyce supplementary material
Arena and Joyce supplementary material 1

 PDF (216 KB)
216 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 23 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 163 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.