Mon, Jun 1, 2020

Things that I have learned by being a journal editor

I have just completed a 3.75 year tenure as an associate editor of the American Political Science Review. Over that time, as one of six associate editors, I have managed the review process for 742 manuscripts, about 200 per year. Here are some departing thoughts on the job in no particular order and with no overarching thesis. I wish the new editorial team well. Being an editor is a constant, low-level source of stress.

Tue, Dec 17, 2019

2019 UK General Election MRP Post-mortem

The slide deck linked below reports an initial performance review for the YouGov MRP model of the 2019 UK general election. As I noted in a series of tweets the day after the election the overall performance was mixed. The headline Conservative seat prediction was too low (339 vs 365), but on many other metrics the model performed well, capturing many important features of how party vote shares changed across UK constituencies versus the previous election in 2017.

Thu, Nov 22, 2018

You cannot trick financial markets into solving your political problem if you tell the markets that this is the plan.

This post was co-authored with Andy Eggers (Nuffield College, Oxford) Will Theresa May’s Brexit deal win the support of Parliament? A view is emerging in Westminster that May’s EU withdrawal plan will succeed in the same way that TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) cleared the U.S. Congress in September of 2008: an initial rejection is followed by a stock market crash, which concentrates legislators’ minds and clears the way for successful passage.

Wed, Jun 27, 2018

Abstract for a paper I do not have time to write

What follows is an abstract for a paper that I do not have time to write, but which I think would be a useful contribution to the literature, assuming what follows is actually true. Please feel free to do the actual research to find out. Let me know! Conjoint experiments have experienced explosive growth in political science. The standard methodology for analysing them in political science involves using linear regression methods to estimate Average Marginal Component Effects (AMCEs, Hainmueller, Hopkins & Yamamoto 2014).

Wed, Jul 26, 2017

New Website

The summer is a great time for catching up on research, or for frittering away time on inessential infrastructure projects. After updating my RMarkdown templates for presentations and papers, I have just spent a few days migrating my website off of Wordpress onto Hugo. Hugo is a static site generator, which means that all the content management happens on my computer, and all that gets uploaded to my site are a collection of static pages.

Sun, Nov 13, 2016

Patterns of Switching in the 2016 US Presidential Election

I am posting the slides and audio here from a talk I gave at the LSE about the election, one day before it happened. Some things in here are right, some things in here are wrong. The polling estimates I was talking about were the penultimate estimates posted at so the numbers there now are a bit different. Most of the value here post-election is the estimates of which kinds of voters were switching R to D and D to R versus 2012.

Thu, Jul 28, 2016

Brexit Referendum MRP Post-mortem

In the lead up to the UK referendum on EU membership, Doug Rivers and I posted an analysis of several weeks of YouGov polling data, using a methodology called multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP). This is a different approach to analysing polling responses than the approach YouGov uses to analyse most of its UK polls, including those released immediately before and after the referendum on 23 June. The MRP approach, in addition to yielding several interesting findings that we discussed in that post on YouGov’s site regarding the interactions of age, educational qualifications, party and referendum vote, also aims to better correct for demographic imbalances in raw polling samples.

Thu, Jul 28, 2016

An update on journal review debt

A couple years ago, I wrote a post on my journal review debt, which I defined as the difference between the number of peer reviews I had completed and the number I had caused other political scientists to write. I am going to be an Associate Editor for the American Political Science Review starting September 1, which is going to mess up this calculation of journal review debt because it does not take into account editorial work (an omission for which I will shortly be receiving my comeuppance).

Mon, Oct 27, 2014

A Thought Experiment Regarding Experimental Ethics

The current controversy about a large scale experiment conducted in Montana by Stanford and Dartmouth political scientists raises several issues about research ethics in political science. To see a scan of the mailer that was sent to a random subset of Montana registered voters, follow this link. Many of the objections I have read specifically refer to the form of the mailer. I am not going to engage with those objections here.

Fri, Apr 18, 2014

Journal Review Debt

For a while, I have wondered just how many more peer reviews I have caused to be written than I have written myself. I suspect that this kind of journal review debt is more or less inevitable as an early-career scholar. So rather than write a review that is due today, I decided to go back through my records to figure this out before it became too overwhelming to do so.

About Me

I am a Professor of Political Science at University College London. I have been Head of Department from October 2021.

Recently, my research has focused on developing new designs for highly multidimensional survey experiments that enable us to better measure key concepts relevant to public opinion and political behaviour. This has included projects introducing new methods for measuring the relative importance of different issues to voters; the extent to which there are robust patterns in which kinds of political arguments are persuasive; public preferences over the composition of government spending; public attitudes towards alternative ways that governments raise tax revenues; the extent to which political disagreement can be ascribed to moral disagreement; and the relative perceived severity, and priority for government action, of different politically salient problems. In addition, I am working on a textbook on social science measurement, a book on the structure of public opinion and voter behaviour, and a project examining public attitudes to democracy in the UK.

Earlier in my career, my research was focused on the development of new methods for the measurement of political preferences from large observational survey, voting, network and text datasets. This work included applications to citizens, legislators and judges across the US, UK, EU and beyond.

I worked as a Senior Data Science Advisor to YouGov from 2016-2021 and was an Associate Editor of the American Political Science Review from 2016-2020. Before joining UCL, I worked at the London School of Economics as a Lecturer, Associate Professor, and Professor from 2011 to 2018.

Curriculum Vitae pdf



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