Quantitative Research Methods for Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration (With Applications in R): 3rd Edition

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Hank Jenkins-Smith, University of Oklahoma
Joseph Ripberger, University of Oklahoma

Pub Date: 2017

ISBN 13:

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Libraries

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Table of Contents

I Theory and Empirical Social Science

  • 1 Theories and Social Science
  • 2 Research Design
  • 3 Exploring and Visualizing Data
  • 4 Probability
  • 5 Inference
  • 6 Association of Variables

II Simple Regression

  • 7 The Logic of Ordinary Least Squares Estimation
  • 8 Linear Estimation and Minimizing Error
  • 9 Bi-Variate Hypothesis Testing and Model Fit
  • 10 OLS Assumptions and Simple Regression Diagnostics

III Multiple Regression

  • 11 Introduction to Multiple Regression
  • 12 The Logic of Multiple Regression
  • 13 Multiple Regression and Model Building
  • 14 Topics in Multiple Regression
  • 15 The Art of Regression Diagnostic

IV Generalized Linear Model

  • 16 Logit Regression

V Appendices

  • 17 Appendix: Basic 

About the Book

The focus of this book is on using quantitative research methods to test hypotheses and build theory in political science, public policy and public administration. It is designed for advanced undergraduate courses, or introductory and intermediate graduate-level courses. The first part of the book introduces the scientific method, then covers research design, measurement, descriptive statistics, probability, inference, and basic measures of association. The second part of the book covers bivariate and multiple linear regression using the ordinary least squares, the calculus and matrix algebra that are necessary for understanding bivariate and multiple linear regression, the assumptions that underlie these methods, and then provides a short introduction to generalized linear models.

The book fully embraces the open access and open source philosophies. The book is freely available in the SHAREOK repository; it is written in R Markdown files that are available in a public GitHub repository; it uses and teaches R and RStudio for data analysis, visualization and data management; and it uses publically available survey data (from the Meso-Scale Integrated Socio-geographic Network) to illustrate important concepts and methods. We encourage students to download the data, replicate the examples, and explore further! We also encourage instructors to download the R Markdown files and modify the text for use in different courses.

About the Contributors


Hank Jenkins-Smith earned his PhD in political science from the University of Rochester (1985). He is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Oklahoma, and serves as a co-Director of the National Institute for Risk and Resilience. Professor Jenkins-Smith has published books and articles on public policy processes, national security, weather, and energy and environmental policy. He has served on National Research Council Committees, as an elected member on the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement, and as a member of the governing Council of the American Political Science Association. His current research focuses on theories of the public policy process, with particular emphasis on the management (and mismanagement) of controversial technical issues involving high risk perceptions on the part of the public. In 2012 he and collaborators initiated a series of studies focused on social responses to the risks posed by severe weather. This work continues with a panel survey of Oklahoma households, funded by the National Science Foundation, to track perceptions of and responses to changing weather patterns. In his spare time, Professor Jenkins-Smith engages in personal experiments in risk perception and management via skiing, scuba diving and motorcycling.

Joseph Ripberger currently works at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management, University of Oklahoma. Joseph does research in Public Policy. Their current project is 'Glen Canyon Dam.'