Relationship Between Economic Development & Civil Liberty

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Research QuestionDoes the level of economic development in a country positively affect civil liberty? Independent Variable: Level of Economic Development Dependent Variable: Civil LibertyWhy is the level of civil liberty in a country lower than that in another ?

ContentsTheory and HypothesisResearch DesignEvaluating Casual RelationshipsOperationalizationConceptual DefinitionValidityLevel of MeasurementThe Procedure and ResultsConclusion

Causal Theory Countries with higher level of economic development tend to have higher civil libertyIn comparing citizens of states, those having higher GDP per capita will be more likely to have greater civil libertyscore than will those having lower GDP per capita.Hypothesis

Measurable variables

We will be happy to make probablistic statements about causal relationships 3

Y before X (effects) Y after

Research DesignExperimental StudiesObservationalStudies Cross-sectional observational studiesTime-series observational studiesget stuck on our fourth hurdle. a set of procedures for testing a hypothesis

We dont know whether in reality X causes Y. we may be armed with a theory that suggests that X does cause Y. But how do social scientists go about testing whether X causes Y? This is where the research design kicks in

a set of procedures for testing a hypothesis: determining the effects of independent variables on dependent variables

The goal of the research design is to help us evaluate how well a theory fares as it makes its way over the four causal hurdles to answer as conclusively as is possible: experimental and observational studies: cross-sectional observational studies (variation across spatial units at a single time unit)/ time-series observational studies (within a single spatial unit over multiple time units)

Bear in mind that observational studies have to cross the same four causal hurdles as do experiments. The textbook admits that observational studies will often get stuck on our fourth hurdle : unable to do this perfectly

non-experiments : analyze existing data: controlled comparisons (confounding Z: wouldnt it be good to control a 3rd variable?) 4

Evaluating Causal Relationships

Four Hurdles Causal Mechanism: YESReverse Causation: NOCorrelation/Covariation: YESSpurious Relationship: an astounding No

Selection effects : Z causes X

A path to evaluating a causal relationship5

Evaluating Causal RelationshipsCausal Mechanism Reverse Causation Correlation Spurious RelationshipC1: GDP per Capita increases (X) C2: As individual citizens gain economic power, they demand for civil rightsC3: Demand for civil rights gradually change the political system from dictatorship to democracy-----------------------------------------------E: Level of civil liberty increases (Y)


Spurious RelationshipEvaluating Causal RelationshipsConfounding Z: Cold War?Civil libertyLevel of Economic Development



Conceptual Definition Conceptual Clarity : Have a clear sense of what the concept is that we are trying to measure.

The concept of ______ is defined as the extent to which _____ exhibits the characteristic of ______.

it is often used as such an indicator, on the rationale that all citizens would benefit from their country's increased economic production. Similarly, GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income. GDP may increase while real incomes for the majority decline. The major advantage of GDP per capita as an indicator of standard of living is that it is measured frequently, widely, and consistently. It is measured frequently in that most countries provide information on GDP on a quarterly basis

This is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, converted at market exchange rates to current U.S. dollars, divided by the average (or mid-year) population for the same year9

Conceptual DefinitionThe concept of Freedom is defined as the extent to which level of civil liberty exhibits the characteristic of political rights and civil liberty.

Conceptual DefinitionThe concept of level of economic development is defined as the extent to which GDP per capita (PPP) exhibits the characteristic of Final output production within nations in given base year.

Validity Content Validity : Element of ConceptsPolitical RightCivil LibertyFreedom of Speech, Press, and ReligionEqual access to social and economic opportunities ControversyInvalid content : GINI Coefficient (limited)

Construct Validity :Use GDP per capita (PPP) to define final output production within nation to measure civil liberty.


Reliability and Validity

Reliability?YesNoValidity?YesNoMeasures that are both reliable and valid can be used to test hypotheses.Non Experiment Design

Level of Measurement GDP per capita : Interval VariableRatio between adjacent scale values are equal with respect to the attribute being measured.

GDP per capita (per $1000)

Ex) Mexico : 5.82 South Africa : 3.25 = 2.57 Republic of Korea: 6.66 Czech Republic : 4.09 = 2.57


Level of Measurement Civil Liberty Score : Ordinal VariableCategories that can be ordered by rank on a continuum. The intervals between adjacent scale values are indeterminate.

Source : Freedom House+4+5+7+8+7


Test Procedure and Results


ConclusionThe Hypothesis was Correct! Countries with higher level of economic development will have higher civil liberty score!

Thank you!Q & A