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Question: Measuring Regime Type: Imagine you are a policy advisor working in an important international organization

05 Mar 2024,2:31 PM


Imagine you are a policy advisor working in an important international organization. Your unit was assigned the task of writing a short memo evaluating the various measures of regime type and investigating the relationship between regime type and some important outcomes (such as GDP). As a member of the team, you will examine two commonly used measures of regime type: Polity IV and Freedom House.
In your memo, you should:
a) Discuss how regime type has been measured and coded in two datasets: Polity IV and Freedom House (4 points)
b) Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Freedom House and Polity IV as measures of regime type (3
c) Describe trends in regime type across time and geographic region (“region”). Focus on “fh_status”,
“fh_pr”, “fh_cl”, and “p_polity” variables but feel free to look at sub-categories for each (these are the
variables with fh_ or p_ prefixes). Provide STATA charts where applicable (5 points):

1. Consider mean, modal, median value over time (not all are equally useful)
2. Are regional trends in regime type/freedom stable or not over time (e.g., is there a consistent
increase or decrease in average scores)?
3. Keep an eye on missing data – are you looking at the same sample size over time? Why or why
4. Is freedom/democracy in decline according to these measures?
5. Look at the relationship of regime type with GDP per capita (“wdi_gdpcapcur”): what is the
relationship (positive/negative/none, linear/non-linear, strong/weak relationship) between
regime type and GDP per capita? Does it change over time?
d) Provide your own independent assessment of the “Freedom scores” of a single country (of your choice)
and explain how and why your scores differ (or not) from the official Freedom House evaluations in
2023 ( Scores for each of 25 questions
should be submitted in the Excel sheet provided alongside this assignment (each item ranges from 0 to 4
points). Please provide your assessment before looking at the official scores. You will not be graded on
how close your own score is to the official one, but rather on your reflection/explanation regarding how
and why your score is similar to/different from the official one. (4 points)
e) Based on your answers to the questions above, discuss both the research and policy implications of
using these datasets to answer questions that have regime type as a dependent (or independent)
variable Resources:
The dataset, STATA code, and Excel sheet for Freedom House

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