Jonathan Ladd

More Evidence that Depressions Don’t Solve Policy Problems

In Greek parliamentary elections yesterday, the Syriza party, “a group dominated by Marxist university professors and Communist activists,” won 36.3% of the vote and 149 out of 300 seats, just short of a majority. On top of this, while the center-left New Democracy party came in second with 129 seats, in third place was the… Read more »

Are Obama’s Interactions with Congress Unusually Distant?

This is just a quick reaction to the commentary on last night’s State of the Union. When watching last night, I was struck by the commentators going on and on about the poor personal relations between the Obama administration and Congress. The explicit or implicit claim in this commentary seems to be the the Obama… Read more »

Ezra Klein Gives Political Scientists Some of Their Own Medicine

This is not ironic. But Alanis was never a stickler for definitions. In recent years, political scientist have gained more influence over how journalists cover national politics. One of the central differences between political scientists and old fashioned political journalists is that political scientists are much more likely to attribute political events to the structure… Read more »

Adventures in Motivated Reasoning: Circumcision Edition

Political scientists spend a good deal of time studying “motivated reasoning,” i.e. people’s tendency to interpret new information in ways that are consistent with their prior preferences and/or predispositions. This phenomenon is hugely important to American politics because a large portion of the public has strong partisan loyalties, most of which were formed early in… Read more »