Welcome

You've reached the website of Dan Pemstein, an assistant professor of political science at North Dakota State University. I'm a methodologist who specializes in measurement and builds statistical tools to answer substantive questions in comparative legislative studies and political economy. One thread of my work uses purpose-built statistical models and natural language processing techniques to ask how institutions channel information and ambition to shape behavior by politicians and parties in the European Union. Another branch of my research adapts tools from educational testing and legislative studies to address key measurement problems in the study of comparative institutions. I also study digital political economy and dabble at the intersection of behavioral economics and cognitive psychology.

I am involved in a number of software and data projects. In particular, I am a co-author of the Scythe Statistical Library, an open source C++ library for statistical computation, and a co-developer of the Unified Democracy Scores, a set of measures that leverage the efforts of a variety of experts to provide a composite scale of democracy, accompanied by estimates of measurement uncertainty. I also serve as project manager for measurement methods for, and sit on the steering committee of, the Varieties of Democracy project.

My research has been funded by a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, Google, the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, and—through a subcontract from the University of Gothenburg—the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Research

You can find my publications, selected working papers, and some data below. Take a look at my CV or google scholar profile if you want detail.

Publications

Working Papers

Data

  • Unified Democracy Scores

    A set of measures that leverage the efforts of a variety of experts to provide a composite scale of democracy, accompanied by estimates of measurement uncertainty. The scores are available for virtually every country in the world from 1946 through 2012.

  • Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)

    V-Dem is a collaborative project, involving over 3,000 social scientists and policy practitioners worldwide, that seeks to measure hundreds of the regime characteristics that underpin democratic government, both cross-nationally and over time.

  • My Dataverse

Teaching

Courses

Workshops

Computing