Endogeneity and Structural Equation Estimation in Political Science

John E. Jackson

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199286546
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577307 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Endogeneity and Structural Equation Estimation in Political Science

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  • Political Methodology
  • Comparative Politics


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This article outlines the current situation with respect to ‘endogeneity and structural equation estimation’. It begins by exploring why econometrics, and particularly the treatment of endogeneity, proved so valuable for political scientists. The most prominent methods used to deal with endogeneity are explained. The article also includes a critique of the critical conditions needed to support the use and interpretation of this method and discusses frequently used diagnostics developed to assess the severity of the problems. The estimation method and diagnostics are shown with a running example with data from a previous study of US congressional politics. In many instances, empirical evidence will continue to be the classic observational study, replete with endogeneity problems. Rather than forgoing analyses of these data and questions because of the reservations about a particular method, it is better to use and to improve those methods in the context of these studies and data.

Keywords: endogeneity; structural equation estimation; political science; econometrics; US congressional politics; model

Article.  11750 words. 

Subjects: Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

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