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Mapping Policy Preferences From TextsStatistical Solutions for Manifesto Analysts$
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Andrea Volkens, Judith Bara, Ian Budge, Michael D. McDonald, and Hans-Dieter Klingemann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199640041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640041.001.0001

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What are Manifestos for? Selecting and Typing Documents in the Database

What are Manifestos for? Selecting and Typing Documents in the Database

(p.146) 8 What are Manifestos for? Selecting and Typing Documents in the Database
Mapping Policy Preferences From Texts

Andrea Volkens

Judith Bara

Ian Budge

Michael D. McDonald

Robin Best

Simon Franzmann

Oxford University Press

The basis for all the estimates of party, government and voter preferences is the individual party manifesto. MARPOR and its predecessors have aimed at collecting these for each ‘party-in-an-election’ but, for several reasons, about one third of the documents on which estimates are based are not manifestos as such but ‘closest equivalents’. Such substitutions do not seem from the final estimate checks in Chapter 6 to affect their validity or reliability too much and create ‘noise’ rather than systematic bias. Chapter 8 provides alternative quantified indices based on the extent to which documents display the characteristics of ‘ideal type’ manifestos and undertakes an empirical analysis of the difference made by using ‘long’ and ‘short’ election programmes issued by German parties to estimate their policy positions. This potential source of error seems limited in its effects, confirming the conclusions of Chapter 6 that final estimates based on the whole document set are generally reliable.

Keywords:   defining manifestoes, document length, manifesto characteristics, manifesto functions, ‘ideal type’ documents

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