Contextual Variables in Cross-National Research   Kazimierz M. Slomczynski Irina Tomescu-Dubrow
Two approaches to cross-national research <ul><li>Country as units of analyses </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals as units of a...
Ecological (aggregate) fallacy <ul><li>Ecological fallacy  occurs when we draw inferences regarding variability across ind...
Ecological (aggregate) fallacy: Example on the basis of ESS <ul><li>For each individual, compute the index of trust in pub...
Individualistic (atomistic) fallacy <ul><li>The individualistic fallacy  occurs when drawing inferences regarding variabil...
Individualistic (atomistic) fallacy: Example on the basis of ESS <ul><li>(1) One of the researcher constructed  a complica...
Combining two levels of analyses <ul><li>Generally, multilevel models recognize the existence of data hierarchies by allow...
Individuals are nested in countries <ul><li>What doest it mean? </li></ul><ul><li>What variables on the country level shou...
Economic variables <ul><li>GDP, GNP </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of economic data : </li></ul><ul><li>(A) The World Bank (WB)...
Criticism of the GNP and GDP <ul><li>Both these measures: </li></ul><ul><li>are non-qualitative (harmful spending counts t...
The Human Development Index, HDI <ul><li>This index includes:  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>health as measured by life expect...
Political development   <ul><li>Measures of political development (democratization): </li></ul><ul><li>Standard-based scal...
New approaches <ul><li>(a) Orientation toward </li></ul><ul><li>- movement of people </li></ul><ul><li>- culture </li></ul...
Globalization Index, first published in  Foreign Policy, Vol. 134, 2003, 60-73   <ul><li>Dimensions (indicators): </li></u...
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Lect may 6_10_contextual_variables_in_cross-national_research

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Lect may 6_10_contextual_variables_in_cross-national_research

  1. 1. Contextual Variables in Cross-National Research Kazimierz M. Slomczynski Irina Tomescu-Dubrow
  2. 2. Two approaches to cross-national research <ul><li>Country as units of analyses </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals as units of analyses </li></ul><ul><li>Each of these approaches could lead to serious errors. One type of such errors is the inappropriate mixing of levels of analyses. The problem is known as: </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological (aggregate) fallacy vs. individualistic (atomistic) fallacy </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ecological (aggregate) fallacy <ul><li>Ecological fallacy occurs when we draw inferences regarding variability across individuals (or the relation between individual-level variables) based on aggregate level data. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, the fallacy occurs through drawing inferences regarding variability across units defined at a lower level based on data collected for units at a higher level. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ecological (aggregate) fallacy: Example on the basis of ESS <ul><li>For each individual, compute the index of trust in public institutions (parliament, political parties, judiciary system). Compute means for each country. This is your DV. </li></ul><ul><li>For each country compute % of people who strongly fear crime. This is your IV. </li></ul><ul><li>Correlate these two variables for the set of countries, that is, r between means of the index (DV) and % of those who strongly fear crime (IV). Correlation is positive and significant. </li></ul><ul><li>FALLACY: People who strongly fear crime (IV) display greater trust in public institutions (DV) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Individualistic (atomistic) fallacy <ul><li>The individualistic fallacy occurs when drawing inferences regarding variability across groups (or the relation between group-level variables) based on individual level data. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, the fallacy of drawing inferences regarding variability across units defined at a higher level based on data collected for units at a lower level. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Individualistic (atomistic) fallacy: Example on the basis of ESS <ul><li>(1) One of the researcher constructed a complicated index of support for women’s issue and assigned this index to each individual in each country. Then, this researcher computed, for each country: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) the mean value for leftist political parties, </li></ul><ul><li>(b) the mean value for rightists political parties, </li></ul><ul><li>(c) the difference between (a) and (b) </li></ul><ul><li>(2) The difference was insignificant. </li></ul><ul><li>FALLACY: “Political parties do not differ with respect of support for women’s issue.” (Political parties as organizations do differ with respect of support for women’s issue, as it is obvious from their programs) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Combining two levels of analyses <ul><li>Generally, multilevel models recognize the existence of data hierarchies by allowing for residual components at each level in the hierarchy to vary. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, a two-level model, which allows for grouping of individuals’ outcomes within countries would include residuals at the individual and country levels. </li></ul><ul><li>The residual variance is partitioned into a between-country component (the variance of the country-level residuals) and a within-country component (the variance of the individual-level residuals). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Individuals are nested in countries <ul><li>What doest it mean? </li></ul><ul><li>What variables on the country level should we take into account? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Economic variables <ul><li>GDP, GNP </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of economic data : </li></ul><ul><li>(A) The World Bank (WB) </li></ul><ul><li>(B) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) </li></ul><ul><li>(C) The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Criticism of the GNP and GDP <ul><li>Both these measures: </li></ul><ul><li>are non-qualitative (harmful spending counts the same as beneficial); </li></ul><ul><li>ignore large, non-cash aspects of life (households and family, subsistence agriculture, voluntary work) as well as the informal economy; </li></ul><ul><li>fail to register many elements of sustainable social progress and human well-being (social cohesion). </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Human Development Index, HDI <ul><li>This index includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>health as measured by life expectancy; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>level of knowledge and skills as measured by the weighted average of functional literacy and combined elementary and secondary net enrolment rate; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>access to resources as measured by the level of real per capita income. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Political development <ul><li>Measures of political development (democratization): </li></ul><ul><li>Standard-based scales of different dimensions of democracy. Origin: Robert Dahl, who provided measures of ‘polyarchy’ for 114 countries circa 1970. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of good and corrupt forms of rule which categorize regime types. Origin: S. M. Lipset. </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to establish objective indicators that measure contestation and participation. Origin: Tatu Vanhanen </li></ul>
  13. 13. New approaches <ul><li>(a) Orientation toward </li></ul><ul><li>- movement of people </li></ul><ul><li>- culture </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Globalization </li></ul>
  14. 14. Globalization Index, first published in Foreign Policy, Vol. 134, 2003, 60-73 <ul><li>Dimensions (indicators): </li></ul><ul><li>1) Political engagement (number of memberships in international organizations, foreign embassies, and U.N. Security Council missions) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Technology (number of internet users, internet hosts, and secure servers) </li></ul><ul><li>3) Personal contact (international travel and tourism, telephone traffic and cross-border transfers) </li></ul><ul><li>4) Economic integration (trade, foreign direct investment and portfolio capital flows, and income payments and receipts) </li></ul>

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