Taking the topics of a quantitative methodology course and illustrating them through Monte Carlo simulation, this book examines abstract principles, such as bias, efficiency, and measures of uncertainty in an intuitive, visual way. Instead of thinking in the abstract about what would happen to a particular estimator “in repeated samples,” the book uses simulation to actually create those repeated samples and summarize the results. The book includes basic examples appropriate for readers learning the material for the first time, as well as more advanced examples that a researcher might use to evaluate an estimator he or she was using in an actual research project. The book also covers a wide range of topics related to Monte Carlo simulation, such as resampling methods, simulations of substantive theory, simulation of quantities of interest (QI) from model results, and cross-validation. Complete R code from all examples is provided so readers can replicate every analysis presented using R.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Social scientists study questions that affect all of our lives: What causes (or prevents) war? What policies promote economic growth? How are cultural values transmitted across generations? What best promotes learning among children? These and a myriad of others are important questions, which makes getting good ...