"Cheap Talk" Diplomacy, Voluntary Negotiations, and Variable Bargaining Power
." International Studies Quarterly
. 55.4 (2011): 1003-1023. Abstract
It is well known that during a crisis unitary rational states have an incentive to misrepresent their true resolve and willingness to go to war. This theoretical result has been taken to imply that diplomacy, interpreted as pre-bargaining communication, can have no effect on the way crises play out. This paper shows an intuitive way that diplomatic cheap talk can matter in a single crisis between countries, especially when the bargaining game has multiple equilibria. In particular, if after 'diplomacy' states can choose to either fight a war directly or bargain in hopes of reaching a peaceful settlement, then it is possible to find an equilibrium where diplomacy influence whether there is war or peace. Importantly the cheap talk diplomacy does three things the standard model says it cannot: it coordinates actions, it reveals information, and it changes the ex ante probability of war. This result demonstrates an easy way of reconciling the discrepancy between the obvious empirical observation that diplomacy often does influence the path of a crisis and the rationalist model of war.
Multivariate Regression Analysis for the Item Count Technique
." Journal of the American Statistical Association
. 106.494 (2011): 407-416. Abstract
The item count technique is a survey methodology that is designed to elicit respondents' truthful answers to sensitive questions such as racial prejudice and drug use. The method is also known as the list experiment or the unmatched count technique and is an alternative to the commonly used randomized response method. In this paper, I propose new nonlinear least squares and maximum likelihood estimators for efficient multivariate regression analysis with the item count technique. The two-step estimation procedure and the Expectation Maximization algorithm are developed to facilitate the computation. Enabling multivariate regression analysis is essential because researchers are typically interested in knowing how the probability of answering the sensitive question affirmatively varies as a function of respondents' characteristics. As an empirical illustration, the proposed methodology is applied to the 1991 National Race and Politics survey where the investigators used the item count technique to measure the degree of racial hatred in the United States. Small-scale simulation studies suggest that the maximum likelihood estimator can be substantially more efficient than alternative estimators. Statistical efficiency is an important concern for the item count technique because indirect questioning means loss of information. The software package is made available to implement the proposed methodology.