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Investigating Sequences in Ordinal Data: A New Approach with Adapted Evolutionary Models

Journal article
Authors Patrik Lindenfors
Fredrik Jansson
Yi Ting Wang
Staffan I Lindberg
Published in Political Science Research and Methods
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 449-466
ISSN 20498470
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Political Science
V-Dem Institute
Pages 449-466
Language en
Subject categories Political Science


© The European Political Science Association 2018Â. This paper presents a new approach for studying temporal sequences across ordinal variables. It involves three complementary approaches (frequency tables, transitional graphs, and dependency tables), as well as an established adaptation based on Bayesian dynamical systems, inferring a general system of change. The frequency tables count pairs of values in two variables and transitional graphs depict changes, showing which variable tends to attain high values first. The dependency tables investigate which values of one variable are prerequisites for values in another, as a more direct test of causal hypotheses. We illustrate the proposed approaches by analyzing the V-Dem dataset, and show that changes in electoral democracy are preceded by changes in freedom of expression and access to alternative information.

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