Amusing blog review of a political science article

by Andrew Gelman on October 13, 2011 · 2 comments

in Judicial

Reviewing “Impartial Judges? Race, Institutional Context, and U.S. State Supreme Courts” by Chris Bonneau and Heather Marie Rice, which appeared in State Politics and Policy Quarterly in 2009, Adam Brown concludes:

The authors find exactly the opposite of what their theory predicts. I [Brown] would have liked to see them explain this.

The authors could do more to justify one of their major theoretical assumptions: That substantive representation requires black and white judges to behave differently.

Ouch. This kind of thing makes me feel like every published paper should have this kind of response appended to it. The paper reviewed above is an obscure article (only two citations on Google scholar) in an obscure journal (actually, I shouldn’t say this because I’d like to publish a paper there!), but, hey, it probably got three referee reports in the review process. It’s a shame that all these reviews just disappear.

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