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Party CompetitionAn Agent-Based Model$
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Michael Laver and Ernest Sergenti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139036

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139036.001.0001

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Using Theoretical Models to Analyze Real Party Systems

Using Theoretical Models to Analyze Real Party Systems

(p.228) Chapter Eleven Using Theoretical Models to Analyze Real Party Systems
Party Competition

Michael Laver

Ernest Sergenti

Princeton University Press

Having specified theoretical models of multiparty competition in the first ten chapters of the book, this chapter analyzes recent party competition in postwar democracies in order to verify whether the empirical implications of the party competition model can indeed be systematically observed in real party competition. This is easy to say but hard to do in a rigorous way. Fundamental difficulties arise from two distinct sources. The first concerns calibration of key parameters of the model to the real political environments it is used to analyze. The second concerns data, specifically the need for reliable empirical observations of the real world that can be compared with theoretical implications of our model. The chapter discusses these two methodological problems before moving on to compare empirical implications generated by the model, calibrated to real party systems, with empirical observations of these same party systems.

Keywords:   postwar democracy, political parties, party competition

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