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The level of democracy during interregnum periods: recoding the polity2 score

By Thomas Plumper and Eric Neumayer


The polity2 variable from the Polity IV project is the most popular measure of a country's political regime. This article contends that the coding rules employed to create a polity2 score during years of so-called interregnum and affected transitions produce a measure of democracy that lacks face validity. Using both single and multiple imputation methods, we construct and evaluate several variables that offer alternative measures to polity2 during such periods. We recommend that scholars using polity2 test whether their results are robust to using our alternatives and using multiple imputation techniques instead. Where robustness cannot be established, scholars need to theoretically justify the choice of either polity2 or one of the alternatives

Topics: JC Political theory
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Political Methodology
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1093/pan
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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