Research Methods


"Conjoint Analysis Tools for Developing Country Contexts." With A. Meyer. The Political Methodologist (2016). Replication material.

Conjoint analysis has recently become popular in political science as a tool to understand how respondents choose between multidimensional alternatives. Originally developed for marketing research, political scientists have recently applied this method to understand how citizens evaluate policies (Horiuchi, Smith, and Yamamoto 2015), candidates (Carlson 2015; Rosenzweig and Tsai N.d.) and immigrants (Hainmueller, Hopkins, and Yamamoto 2014; Berinsky et al. 2015). With its growing popularity, conjoint analysis is increasingly being employed across a variety of contexts and respondent samples. Researchers are now applying this method to study attitudes and behaviors in developing countries. However, these contexts pose problems for existing tools and implementation practices. We developed tools to overcome these obstacles that can be used to implement the conjoint method in contexts where surveys are conducted offline and with illiterate respondents.

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”social Media Markets for Survey Research in Comparative Contexts: Facebook Users in KenyA” with K. Pham & F. RampazZo. In progress.

As internet and cell phone use spread, a growing number of citizens in developing countries are getting online and using social media. Can social media platforms provide a cheaper, faster, and reliable mechanism to reach populations that are currently expensive to survey in comparative contexts? How representative of the national population are social media users? We examine these questions in the case of Facebook users in Kenya. First, we obtain the demographic profiles of Facebook users in Kenya using the Facebook advertising platform, which provides data on users’ location and demographic characteristics for marketing purposes, and compare them to the overall population as measured by census and WorldPop data. Second, emulating the sampling strategy used by a well-known nationally representative survey (AfroBarometer), we use Facebook advertisements to recruit online survey respondents. Respondents are asked a series of questions that appear on nationally representative surveys, and are presented with canonical behavioral survey experiments. Fielding our survey on Facebook immediately following the 2019 census and an in-person nationally representative survey allows us to ensure that any observed differences between our survey and nationally representative samples are not due to differences in timing. We examine how closely the social and political attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of Kenyans recruited on Facebook match those of the general population. In doing so, we evaluate the potential of Facebook to serve as a survey respondent recruitment mechanism in developing countries. We provide practical information about how to conduct stratified sampling with Facebook ads, outlining best practices for paying respondents, and highlighting important limitations to consider when conducting online surveys and experiments in contexts with varying levels of literacy.