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Presidential Uses of Force During the Cold War: Aggregation, Truncation, and Temporal Dynamics

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Mitchell, Sara McLaughlin (Florida State University)
  • Moore, Will H. (Florida State University)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Cold War; military intervention; presidential powers; war and emergency powers
  • Abstract

    This study identifies three methodological issues that affect inferences drawn in studies of presidential decisions to use force: aggregation, truncation, and dynamics. The authors suggest that a dichotomous measure of uses of force introduces aggregation bias, while the decision to examine only major uses of force introduces truncation bias. In addition, they argue that the presence of rivalry creates temporal dependence or dynamics in the use of force series. They re-examine the empirical findings reported in a seminal study of United States presidents' use of force during the Cold War (Ostrom and Job, 1986). The findings demonstrate the importance of these three methodological issues. Results of a Poisson Autoregressive (PAR) model show dynamics in the use of force series. Contrary to Ostrom and Job, the authors find that international variables have a larger substantive effect on the president's decision to use force than political variables like approval and domestic variables like economic performance.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • (1) The file submitted is, which contains mmvarlist02.txt, a dictionary describing the variables, Readme.txt, a description of the study, Results.log, the results from the various analyses, force49-76final.csv, a comma-delimited (ASCII) version of the data, force49-76final.dta, a Stata version of the data, and force49-76final.xls, an Excel version of the data. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 1254 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Mitchell, Sara McLaughlin; Moore, Will H. (2002): Presidential Uses of Force During the Cold War: Aggregation, Truncation, and Temporal Dynamics. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.