The increasing availability and use of contextual data mark important developments for social scientists as they open the door to leveraging cross-national public opinion datasets in new and exciting ways. By adding contextual information, researchers can take into account socio-economic and institutional settings and how such contexts affect survey respondents. The importance of context in understanding behavior should not be underestimated: contextual variables are becoming indispensable across the social science disciplines, from economics to education. Sociologists use contextual data to trace the effect of groups and structures on individual outcomes (Erbring and Young, 1979), and political scientists have a long tradition of utilizing contextual data in single country studies of voting (reviewed in ...
Supplementing Cross-National Survey Data with Contextual Data