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Symposium on Models of Path Dependence

  • John R. Freeman (a1) and John E. Jackson (a2)


The symposium develops statistical models and methods for the study of path dependence. In this introductory essay, the connections between key areas in the path dependence and statistical literatures are illuminated. And some ways in which familiar time series and regression models embody these ideas are explained. The arguments in the articles in the symposium then are summarized and compared. Finally, directions for additional, statistically grounded research on path dependence are discussed.


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Authors' note: Introduction to articles originally presented at a Conference on Path Dependence, sponsored by the Society for Political Methodology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, June 4 and 5, 2010. We thank the Society and the National Science Foundation for their assistance, the reviewers of the individual papers for their valuable contribution, and Michael Alvarez and Jonathan Katz for their interest in and support of this project. We also thank Aya Kachi and Kenneth Kollman for comments specific to this essay.



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Arthur, W. Brian, Ermoliev, Yu M., and Kaniovski, Yu M. 1987. Path dependent processes and the emergence of macro-structure. European Journal of Operational Research 30: 294303.
Bednar, Jenna, Page, Scott E., and Toole, Jameson. 2012. Revised path-dependence. Political Analysis 20: 146–56.
Bennett, Andrew, and Elman, Colin. 2006. Complex causal relationships and causal methods: The example of path dependence. Political Analysis 14: 250–67.
David, Paul. 1985. Clio and the economics of QWERTY. American Economic Review 75(2): 332–37.
Franzese, Robert Jr., Hays, Jude C., and Kachi, Aya. 2012. Modeling historical dependence in network-behavior coevolution. Political Analysis 20: 175–90.
Freeman, John R. 2011. Research note: Can time series methods be used to detect path dependence? Revised version of a Paper presented at the Conference on Path Dependence, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, June 4 and 5, 2010.∼freeman/pathdependence.pdf.
Goldstone, Jack A. 1998. Initial conditions, general laws, path dependence, and explanations in historical sociology. American Journal of Sociology 104: 829–45.
Hamilton, James. 1994. Time series analysis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Heckman, James J. 1991. Identifying the hand of the past: Distinguishing state dependence from heterogeneity. American Economic Review 81(2): 75–9.
Jackson, John E. 1996. Political methodology: An overview. In New handbook of political science, eds. Goodin, Robert and Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, 717–48. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jackson, John E., and Kollman, Ken. 2010. A formulation of path dependence with an empirical example. Quarterly Journal of Political Science 5: 257–89.
Jackson, John E., and Kollman, Ken. 2011. Connecting micro and macro partisanship. Political Analysis 19: 503–18.
Jackson, John E., and Kollman, Ken. 2012. Modeling, measuring and distinguishing path dependence, outcome dependence and outcome independence. Political Analysis 20: 157–74.
Mahoney, James. 2000. Path dependence in historical sociology. Theory and Society 29: 507–48.
Page, Scott E. 2006. Path dependence. Quarterly Journal of Political Science 1: 87115.
Park, Jong Hee. 2011a. Changepoint analysis of binary and ordinal probit models: An application to bank rate policy under the interwar gold standard. Political Analysis 19: 188204.
Park, Jong Hee. 2011b. A unified method for dynamic and cross-sectional heterogeneity: Introducing hidden Markov panel models. Typescript. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Spirling, Arthur. 2007. Bayesian approaches for limited dependent variable change point problems. Political Analysis 15: 387405.
Vergne, Jean-Philippe, and Durand, Rodolphe. 2010. The missing link between the theory and empirics of path dependence: Conceptual clarification, testability issue, and methodological implications. Journal of Management Studies 47: 736–59.
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Symposium on Models of Path Dependence

  • John R. Freeman (a1) and John E. Jackson (a2)


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