Conventional and Unconventional Participation in Latin America: A Hierarchical Latent Class ApproachWorking Paper No.: 138
Date Published: 2020-04-24
R. Michael Alvarez, California Institute of Technology
Gabriel Katz, University of Exeter
Ines Levin, University of California, Irvine
Lucas Nuñez, George Mason University
Building on Alvarez, Levin, and Núñez (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.