Using Panel Data To Analyze Over-Time Stability In Attitudes Toward The European Union


This case focuses on mass public support for the European Union, and it looks at how stable this support was over the time of the 2008 economic crisis. The case first discusses whether looking at stability of attitudes over time can tell us something beyond mere description. It shows that examining over-time stability of attitudes is a fruitful line of research, which delivers conclusions that are both theoretically and practically relevant. This case explains how to study over-time stability attitudes over multiple waves of panel data and how to connect the results back to theory. Using the example of public support for the European Union, it presents the following three techniques that examine attitude stability over time: an aggregate-level analysis, a Wiley and Wiley model (a specific type of a structural equation model), and a dynamic panel data model. Each of the techniques looks at stability from a different point of view. Together, they provide a comprehensive account of over-time stability. In addition, the case shows that reaching out to colleagues for advice and for feedback is an essential part of a research project that greatly enriches the project’s potential.

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