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Validating Wordscores for use in Voting Advice Applications

Bruinsma, S.C.J. (2014) Validating Wordscores for use in Voting Advice Applications.

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Abstract:Since 2006, voting advice applications have shown a significant increase in use in Europe. One of the main factors in a successful VAA is its ability to accurately locate parties in policy space. Wordscores, a quantitative text analysis scaling method, has been proposed as a method that can be used to accurately estimate positions on a priori specified dimensions. This study tries to establish if Wordscores is able to perform this function in the context of voting advice applications. To do so, I apply Wordscores on parties' 2009 Euromanifestos and compare the estimates against a commonly accepted benchmark: the party positions of the 2009 EU Profiler voting advice application. The analysis showed that in countries as varied as the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Finland, & Poland, Wordscores was unable to match the benchmark' estimates. The concordance correlations coefficients between Wordscores and EU Profiler estimates are too low for the method to be able to be judged valid.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
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