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Estimating Dynamic Panel Data Models In Political Science

Gregory Wawro

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Panel data are a very valuable resource for finding empirical solutions to political science puzzles. Yet numerous published studies in political science that use panel data to estimate models with dynamics have failed to take into account important estimation issues, which calls into question the inferences we can make from these analyses. The failure to account explicitly for unobserved individual effects in dynamic panel data induces bias and inconsistency in cross-sectional estimators. The purpose of this paper is to review dynamic panel data estimators that eliminate these problems. I first show how the problems with cross-sectional estimators arise in dynamic models for panel data. I then show how to correct for these problems using generalized method of moments estimators. Finally, I demonstrate the usefulness of these methods with replications of analyses in the debate over the dynamics of party identification.