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Counting Civilian CasualtiesAn Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict$
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Taylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, and Baruch Fischhoff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977307

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977307.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 April 2021

Multiple Systems Estimation Techniques for Estimating Casualties in Armed Conflicts

Multiple Systems Estimation Techniques for Estimating Casualties in Armed Conflicts

(p.165) 9 Multiple Systems Estimation Techniques for Estimating Casualties in Armed Conflicts
Counting Civilian Casualties

Daniel Manrique-Vallier

Megan E. Price

Anita Gohdes

Oxford University Press

The chapter introduces the logic of using multiple systems estimation (MSE) in the context of estimating casualties in armed conflict, This technique, in its most basic implementation, demonstrably relies on four strong assumptions, which are typically explored and adjusted for with the generalization to three or more systems and a variety of MSE methods and estimators. The implications of violating these four classic assumptions, in particular the homogeneity and independence assumptions, do not translate clearly to the more-than-three-systems case. Case studies from human rights research in Peru and Kosovo are used to present the subtle ways in which misunderstanding these assumptions can lead to misapplication and misinterpretation of MSE methods. The chapter also discusses the capture-recapture issue by examining how MSE methods rely on patterns of inclusion or capture to represent the underlying population of interest even when the individual samples themselves are not representative.

Keywords:   multiple systems estimation (MSE), capture-recapture, casualty estimation, armed conflict, Peru, Kosovo

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