How Multiple Imputation Makes a Difference

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Authors Ranjit Lall
Journal/Conference Name POLITICAL ANALYSIS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Political scientists increasingly recognize that multiple imputation represents a superior strategy for analyzing missing data to the widely used method of listwise deletion. However, there has been little systematic investigation of how multiple imputation affects existing empirical knowledge in the discipline. This article presents the first large-scale examination of the empirical effects of substituting multiple imputation for listwise deletion in political science. The examination focuses on research in the major subfield of comparative and international political economy (CIPE) as an illustrative example. Specifically, I use multiple imputation to reanalyze the results of almost every quantitative CIPE study published during a recent five-year period in International Organization and World Politics, two of the leading subfield journals in CIPE. The outcome is striking: in almost half of the studies, key results “disappear” (by conventional statistical standards) when reanalyzed.
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language R
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