Abstract

It is often claimed that computational methods for examining textual data give good enough party position estimates at a fraction of the costs of many non-computational methods. However, the conclusive testing of these claims is still far from fully accomplished. We compare the performance of two computational methods, Wordscores and Wordfish, and four non-computational methods in estimating the political positions of parties in two dimensions, a left-right dimension and a progressive-conservative dimension. Our data comprise electoral party manifestos written in Finnish and published in Finland. The non-computational estimates are composed of the Chapel Hill Expert Survey estimates, the Manifesto Project estimates, estimates deriving from survey-based data on voter perceptions of party positions, and estimates derived from electoral candidates’ replies to voting advice application questions. Unlike Wordfish, Wordscores generates relatively well-performing estimates for many of the party positions, but despite this does not offer an even match to the non-computational methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1354068820974609
JournalParty Politics
Volume28
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)306-317
Number of pages12
ISSN1354-0688
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5171 Political Science
  • manifestos
  • parties
  • quantitative content analysis
  • Wordfish
  • Wordscores
  • POLICY POSITIONS
  • POLITICAL TEXTS
  • PITFALLS
  • WORDSCORES

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