The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.

The Regression Discontinuity Design1

The Regression Discontinuity Design1

Matias D. CattaneoRocío TitiunikGonzalo Vazquez-Bare


The Regression Discontinuity (RD) design has emerged in recent decades as one of the most credible non-experimental research strategies to study causal treatment effects. The distinctive feature behind the RD design is that all units receive a score, and a treatment is offered to all units whose score exceeds a known cutoff, and it is withheld from all the units whose score is below the cutoff. Under the assumption that the units’ characteristics do not change abruptly at the cutoff, the change in treatment status induced by the discontinuous treatment-assignment rule can be used to study different causal treatment effects on outcomes of interest.

The RD design was originally proposed by Thistlethwaite and Campbell (1960) in the ...

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