The IRS and a statistics problem

by Andrew Gelman on July 22, 2013 · 5 comments

in Bureaucracy,Data

John Mashey writes:

Have you or do you know if anyone has looked at this hypothesis:
“The IRS unfairly targeted conservative organizations for scrutiny in getting 501©(4) status.”

I’d think one would want to have:
N years of rates of application (because I conjecture there was a big burst after Citizens United)
Some grouping of those into “conservative,” “progressive” or other.
Rates of investigation, time taken.
Rates of rejection.

I haven’t followed this carefully enough, but it actually looks like an reasonable social science question, if only to identify the
data actually required to reach any real conclusions.

I have no idea.


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