Earlier Pilot Study
Pilot Study on Selectorate InstitutionsSelectorate politics classifies political institutions on two dimensions: winning coalition size and selectorate size. The winning coalition is the number of people whose support a leader requires in order to stay in power. The selectorate size is the size of the group which the winningcoalition is drawn. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph Siverson and James Morrow develop these concepts in the logic of political survival (2003, MIT press). That and other studies relyupon crude measures of the central concepts cobbled together from commonly available data sources such as the Polity and Arthur Banks’ data. While variables developed from these sources provide systematic measures, they are at best no more than rough indicators of the underlying concepts. Our experiences are that country experts often have a much more nuanced assessment of who matters in terms of leader survival. The pilot study collects expert opinion often nations between 1955 and 2006.
The survey was funded by CENTRA Technology, Inc and carried out by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, James Morrow, Randolph Siverson and Alastair Smith. The pilot study examined ten nations selected by Centra (Venezuela, Russia,Iran, Egypt, Syria,Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, China,Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Pakistan). We attempted to obtain five expert reports per nation. Although it varied by nation, this typically meant approaching 10 country experts. These experts were typically distinguished academics either within the U.S.or the country under study. The experts were paid $500 to complete the survey and their identities are not disclosed. The full text of the survey is available online [view]. We are very grateful to the participants for their efforts.
The data are available in several forms. The raw data with the individual survey response is available as a stata file [view]. The individual responses are aggregated and reported as nation-year averages.These summary data are available instata format [view] and as an excel spreadsheet [view]. The experts often provided a significant amount of context rich information, which we summarize here.
The results of the pilot study [view] and some of its potential uses were presented in July 2007. The project’s results were reviewed by a number of academics including Barbara Geddes (UCLA), Donald Wittman (UC Santa Cruz), Zachary Elkins, (University ofIllinois, Urbana-Champaign), Jay Ulfelder (SAIC, Research Director of the Political Instability Task Force), Daniel Brumberg (Georgetown University), Stephen Cohen, (The Brookings Institution), Dr. Daniel Markey (Council on Foreign Relations), and David Myers (Penn State University).
Links:Full text of Survey Questionnaire
Raw data of Survey Responses (stata format)
Country Average Data Pilot Study (stata format)
Country Average Data Pilot Study (excel format)