Causal inference in historical institutional analysis: A specification of periodization strategies

  • Lieberman E
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Although emerging streams of historical institutional (HI) analysis have generated substantial insights in the field of comparative politics, this scholarship has lacked a self-conscious approach to methodology. This article specifies the comparative historical methods thatmanyHI scholars have implicitly used for estimating the causal effect of political institutions on key pol- icy and other political outcomes. It demonstrates how various periodization strategies are deployed to sort out the influence of a host of hypothesized and rival explanatory factors. In addi- tion to explicating these methods, the article critically examines recentworks of HI scholarship, highlighting the analytical leverage generated through studies that might ordinarily seem to suf- fer from the problem of small samples. More explicit deployment of these methodswould both improve the quality of HI analysis and make its findings more transparent for further evaluation and emulatio

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