Methodology

Methodology

Conventional and Unconventional Participation in Latin America: A Hierarchical Latent Class Approach

R. Michael Alvarez California Institute of Technology
,
Gabriel Katz University of Exeter
,
Ines Levin University of California at Irvine
,
Lucas Nunez George Mason University
Abstract
Building on Alvarez et al. (2017), we implement a hierarchical latent class model to analyze political participation from a comparative perspective. Our methodology allows simultaneously: (i) estimating citizens’ propensity to engage in conventional and unconventional modes of participation; (ii) classifying individuals into underlying ``types'' capturing within- and cross-country variations in participation; and (iii) assessing how this classification varies with micro- and macro-level factors. We apply our model to Latin American survey data. We show that our method outperforms alternative approaches used to study participation and derive typologies of political engagement. Substantively, we find that the distribution of participatory types is similar throughout the continent, and that it correlates strongly with respondents’ socio-economic characteristics, ideological preferences and crime victimization.
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Online Appendix
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