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Don't Know Much about Democracy: Reporting Survey Data with Nonsubstantive Responses

  • Jonathan Reilly (a1) and L. J Zigerell

Large majorities in nearly every country support democracy, according to studies of cross-national surveys. But many of these reports have treated as missing data persons who did not provide a substantive response when asked to offer an opinion about the suitability of democracy as a regime type for their country, which has led to substantial overestimates of expressed support for democracy in some countries. This article discusses the consequences of excluding such nonsubstantive responses and offers suggestions to improve the study of popular support for democracy.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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