Discrete Choice Methods

Garrett Glasgow and R. Michael Alvarez

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Discrete Choice Methods

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  • Political Methodology
  • Comparative Politics



This article describes the statistical models commonly used to study discrete choices. It concentrates on the ‘basic’ discrete choice models, and the theoretical choice situations that lead to these models. Specifically the choice situation addressed include: the ordered choice situation and the unordered choice situation. In addition, the article discusses two extensions of the basic discrete choice models commonly seen in political science research — models allowing for heteroskedasticity in the choices made across political agents (such as the heteroskedastic probit), and models that estimate substitution patterns across choice alternatives (such as the multinomial probit and mixed logit). Suggestions for further reading are also given.

Keywords: discrete choice models; statistical models; ordered choice; unordered choice; political science; heteroskedasticity

Article.  6840 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

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