Intro to Theory Slides (Lecture 2) - PS 280 What We Do(1b...

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Unformatted text preview: PS 280: What We Do (1b) August 24, 2016 Resume, Announcements I Ended here after the first day. Much love! I If you need to switch sections, see Justin ASAP. I I Because of a hard and fast conflict, not convenience. Section attendance is mandatory. It’ll be worth a homework assignment. I I 1 freebie. Where we’ll return ICAs. What We Do: Theory and Predictions I Explain important, real-world variation. What We Do: Theory and Predictions I Explain important, real-world variation. I Theory: I FLS: “a logically consistent set of statements that explains a phenomenon of interest.” What We Do: Theory and Predictions I Explain important, real-world variation. I Theory: I FLS: “a logically consistent set of statements that explains a phenomenon of interest.” I Me: A theory is a set of assumptions from which we derive testable predictions. I I Assumptions: neither true nor false. Derive: assumptions → predictions. What We Do: Theory and Predictions I Explain important, real-world variation. I Theory: I FLS: “a logically consistent set of statements that explains a phenomenon of interest.” I Me: A theory is a set of assumptions from which we derive testable predictions. I I I Assumptions: neither true nor false. Derive: assumptions → predictions. If we found a relationship between two things, the theory is the “why.” What I Do: Theory Example 0 200 Frequency 400 600 Figure: Distribution of Battle Deaths for Conflict Years 0 I 10000 20000 Number of Deaths Practice theory building. 30000 Civil War: Theory I Assumptions: 1. People choose between fighting and working. 2. When the economy tanks, working gets less attractive. 3. More people fighting means more people dying. Civil War: Theory I Assumptions: 1. People choose between fighting and working. 2. When the economy tanks, working gets less attractive. 3. More people fighting means more people dying. I “As [X]changes, [Y] changes.” Civil War: Theory I Assumptions: 1. People choose between fighting and working. 2. When the economy tanks, working gets less attractive. 3. More people fighting means more people dying. I I “As [X]changes, [Y] changes.” → Prediction: When the economy tanks, civil wars kill more people. Civil War: Theory I Assumptions: 1. People choose between fighting and working. 2. When the economy tanks, working gets less attractive. 3. More people fighting means more people dying. I “As [X]changes, [Y] changes.” → Prediction: When the economy tanks, civil wars kill more people. I We can formalize these types of theories (later). I Civil War: Theory I Assumptions: 1. People choose between fighting and working. 2. When the economy tanks, working gets less attractive. 3. More people fighting means more people dying. I I I I “As [X]changes, [Y] changes.” → Prediction: When the economy tanks, civil wars kill more people. We can formalize these types of theories (later). We can learn to test predictions (another class). FLS and Theory I FLS: Interests, Interactions, and Institutions I These are principles for guiding assumptions. 1. Interests: who are the actors and what do they want. 2. Interactions: what choices can they choose from. 3. Institutions: what structures govern their choices. Timeout 3 I I You will have to work with numbers at some point. (Pause for students to finish ∗ GASPING ∗ and clutching pearls). I Why is this a good idea? I Why is this a bad idea? Timeout 3 I I You will have to work with numbers at some point. (Pause for students to finish ∗ GASPING ∗ and clutching pearls). I Why is this a good idea? I I I I Abstraction → generality. Common language → precision. Make PS valuable even if you don’t want to be a political scientist. (538, The Upshot, etc.) Why is this a bad idea? I I Raises start-up costs. Makes communication of ideas more difficult. Timeout 3 I I You will have to work with numbers at some point. (Pause for students to finish ∗ GASPING ∗ and clutching pearls). I Why is this a good idea? I I I I Abstraction → generality. Common language → precision. Make PS valuable even if you don’t want to be a political scientist. (538, The Upshot, etc.) Why is this a bad idea? I I I Raises start-up costs. Makes communication of ideas more difficult. But you’re smart and in college and that’s kinda the point of being here... Sneak Peak: Our Civil War Prediction 0 Battle Deaths 10000 20000 30000 Figure: Battle Deaths in Civil Conflict Years −1 −.5 0 Economic Growth .5 Theory Building Practice 2 6 4 2 0 frequency 8 10 12 Figure: Number of Months from Tariff Initiation to WTO Dispute 0 50 100 150 months 200 250 In Class Activity 2.1 I (1) Make a prediction that explains the variation in how long you wait before you start a trade dispute. I “As [X] happens, [Y] happens.” I I [X]: something you come up with. [Y]: how long you wait to start a dispute. I Three sentences, max. In Class Activity 2.1 I (1) Make a prediction that explains the variation in how long you wait before you start a trade dispute. I “As [X] happens, [Y] happens.” I I [X]: something you come up with. [Y]: how long you wait to start a dispute. I Let’s hear some examples. I I What assumptions have we made? What alternative assumptions could we have made? Trade Dispute: Theory I Assumptions: 1. The WTO court has no police. 2. Nations have to enforce rulings. 3. If country B exports more to country A, then A has more enforcement power. 4. Disputes/suits are costly. I I (Don’t sue if you can’t enforce.) → As B exports more to A, A is more likely to sue B. Trade Dispute: Theory Figure: Effect of U.S. Exports on Probability of WTO Dispute and Unilateral Removal 0.005 Effects of U.S. Exports on Probability of Exit 0.003 0.002 0.001 0.000 Predicted Probability 0.004 WTO Dispute Unil. Removal 1 2 3 U.S. Exports 4 5 Timeout 4 I We just smuggled in a lot of interesting facts... 1. There is the WTO, which governs trade policies. 2. It has a court where countries sue each other. 3. But power politics key to enforcement. I ... without making this a fact regurge class. I I Especially early on, fact memorization < skills. (I don’t store facts locally.) I Read FLS like a social scientist. I I I Where are they talking about important variation? What are their theories, predictions? How would you design a study to test those predictions? Theory and Empirics: Some Side Points I I Are the data consistent with the predictions? I If no, probably need a different theory. I If yes, then we have an argument explaining variation. We don’t prove or disprove theories. Theory: Key Points I All models are wrong. Some models are useful. I Good theories: I I I Yield predictions that are consistent with data. Are general. Don’t have a million moving parts. In Class Activity 2.2 I Same sheet from before. I (2) Write down one (or more) things that were unclear. Cool PS Thing to Check Out I I want you to become a PS major. I September 7th, PS Fair David Kinley Hall, 4th Floor 2-430 I I ...
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  • Fall '14
  • Dr. Joseph Hinchcliffe
  • Civil War, economy tanks, logically consistent set

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