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Event History Modeling: A Guide for Social Scientists

  • Frederick J. Boehmke (a1)

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Event History Modeling: A Guide for Social Scientists. By Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier and Bradford S. Jones. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 232p. $65.00 cloth, $23.99 paper.

The study of durations in political science has been on the rise over the last decade and a half. Their application spans major research questions in virtually every field, including the duration of parliamentary governments, international conflict, policy adoptions in the U.S. states, and issue emergence in campaigns. Testing theoretical arguments regarding these and other questions involving durations has led political scientists to learn about and rely upon statistical models for durations, often referred to as event history models. Perhaps more than models for other classes of data, learning about event history models, particularly those for continuous-time data, presents a formidable task. This is partly due to the unique language of the models (e.g., terms like “spell,” “failure,” “frailty,” and “hazard”) that developed through their application in other disciplines, but also because of the new concerns that they involve. For example, how should one control for duration dependence? Is the proportional hazards assumption met?

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