The Miller Prize

The Miller Prize for is awarded for the best work appearing in Political Analysis the preceding year.

2020 Winner
Jens Hainmueller (Stanford)
Jonathan Mummolo (Princeton)
Yiqing Xu (Stanford)
Work “How Much Should We Trust Estimates from Multiplicative Interaction Models: Simple Tools to Improve Empirical Practice”

On behalf of this year's Miller Prize committee (myself, Alexander Theodoridis, Patrick Brandt, and Jeff Gill), I’m delighted to announce the winner of the Society for Political Methodology’s 2020 Miller Prize for the best paper published in Political Analysis. This year the prize goes to the article "How Much Should We Trust Estimates from Multiplicative Interaction Models: Simple Tools to Improve Empirical Practice," by Jens Hainmueller, Jonathan Mummolo, and Yiqing Xu. Multiple nominators praised the article's importance, the breadth of its rigor, and its utility for a wide range of practitioners. Please join us in congratulating the authors for this excellent piece of scholarship. The abstract is pasted below.

Multiplicative interaction models are widely used in social science to examine whether the relationship between an outcome and an independent variable changes with a moderating variable. Current empirical practice tends to overlook two important problems. First, these models assume a linear interaction effect that changes at a constant rate with the moderator. Second, estimates of the conditional effects of the independent variable can be misleading if there is a lack of common support of the moderator. Replicating 46 interaction effects from 22 recent publications in five top political science journals, we find that these core assumptions often fail in practice, suggesting that a large portion of findings across all political science subfields based on interaction models are fragile and model dependent. We propose a checklist of simple diagnostics to assess the validity of these assumptions and offer flexible estimation strategies that allow for nonlinear interaction effects and safeguard against excessive extrapolation. These statistical routines are available in both R and STATA.

Selection committee Bear Braumoeller (Ohio State), Alexandar Theodoridis (UC, Merced), Patrick Brandt  (UT, Dallas), and Jeff Gill (ex officio, American)

Past Recipients

Year Recipient Work
Luke W. Miratrix (Harvard), Jasjeet S. Sekhon (UC Berkeley), Alexander G. Theodoridis (UC Merced), and Luis F. Campos (Harvard)
"Worth Weighting? How to Think About and Use Weights in Survey Experiments”
2018 Yiqing Xu "Generalized Synthetic Control Method: Causal Inference with Interactive Fixed Effects Models"
2017 Joel A. Middleton (UC Berkeley), Mark A. Scott (NYU), Ronli Diakow (New York City Department of Education) and Jennifer L. Hill (NYU) "Bias Amplification and Bias Unmasking"
2016 Pablo Barberá "Birds ofthe same feather tweet together: Bayesian ideal point estimation using Twitter data"
2015 Jens Hainmueller (MIT), Dan Hopkins (Georgetown), and Teppi Yamamoto (MIT) "Causal Inference in Conjoint Analysis: Understanding Multidimensional Choices via Stated Preference Experiments"
2014 Jake Bowers (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Mark Fredrickson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Costas Panagopoulos (Fordham University) "Reasoning about Interference Between Units: A General Framework"
2013 Jens Hainmueller (MIT) "Entropy Balancing for Causal Effects: A Multivariate Reweighting Method to Produce Balanced Samples in Observational Studies"
2012 Devin Caughey and Jasjeet S. Sekhon (UC Berkeley) "Elections and the Regression-Discontinuity Design: Lessons from Close U.S. House Races"
2011 Justin Grimmer (Stanford) "A Bayesian Hierarchical Topic Model for Political Texts: Measuring Expressed Agendas in Senate Press Releases"
2010 Daniel Corstange (University of Maryland) "Sensitive Questions, Truthful Answers? Modeling the List Experiment with LISTIT"
2009 Muhammet Ali Bas (Harvard), Curtis S. Signorino (University of Rochester) and Robert W Walker (Washington University in St. Louis) "Statistical Backwards Induction: A Simple Method for Estimating Recursive Strategic Models"
2008 Daniel E. Ho (Stanford), Kosuke Imai (Princeton), Gary King (Harvard), Elizabeth A. Stuart (Johns Hopkins) "Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reduced Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference"
2007 Frederick J. Boehmke (University of Iowa) "The Influence of Unobserved Factors on Position Timing and Content in the NAFTA Vote"
2006 Robert J. Franzese, Jr. (University of Michigan) "Empirical Strategies for Various Manifestations of Multilevel Data"
2005 David W. Nickerson (Notre Dame) "Scalable Protocols Offer Efficient Design for Field Experiments"
2004 David K. Park, Andrew Gelman, and Joseph Bafumi (Columbia) "Bayesian Multilevel Estimation with Poststratification: State-Level Estimates from National Polls"
2003 Jeffrey B. Lewis and Kenneth A. Schultz (UCLA) "Revealing Preferences: Empirical Estimation of a Crisis Bargaining Game with Incomplete Information"
2002 Patrick Heagerty (University of Washington), Michael D. Ward (University of Washington) and Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (UCSD) "Windows of Opportunity: Window Subseries Empirical Variance Estimators in International Relations"
2001 Keith T. Poole (University of Houston) "The Geometry of Multidimensional Quadratic Utility in Models of Parliamentary Roll Call Voting"
2000 John Londregan (UCLA) "Estimating Legislator’s Preferred Points"

Past Selection Committees

Year Committee
2019 Pablo Babera (LSE), Jennifer Pan (Stanford), and Jeff Gill (American University)
2018 Jennifer Pan (Stanford), Pablo Barberá (LSE), and Jonathan Katz (CalTech)
2017 Patrick Brandt (UT Dallas, chair), Devin Caughey (MIT), Sunshine Hillygus (Duke) and Michael Alvarez (Cal Tech, ex officio)
2016 Neil Malhotra (Stanford, chair), Megan Shannon (Colorado), Arthur Spirling (NYU) and Thad Dunning (UC Berkeley)
2015 Neil Malhotra (Chair), Thad Dunning, Meg Shannon, Arthur Spirling
2014 David Nickerson (Chair), Devin Caughey, Justin Grimmer, Brad Jones
2013 David Nickerson (Chair), Devin Caughey, Justin Grimmer, Brad Jones
2012 Burt Monroe (Chair), Justin Grimmer, David Nickerson, Greg Wawro
2011 Dan Wood (Chair), Kosuke Imai, Greg Wawro, Burt Monroe
2010 Dan Wood (Chair), Kosuke Imai, Greg Wawro, Burt Monroe
2009 Dan Wood (Chair), Kosuke Imai, Greg Wawro, Burt Monroe
2008 Tobin Grant (Chair), David Darmofal (winner from previous year), Michael Hanmer, Orit Kedar, Drew Linzer
2007 Brian Pollins (Chair), Robert Franzese (winner from previous year), William Berry
2006 Brian Pollins (Chair), David Nickerson (winner from previous year), Stanley Feldman