Randolph M. Siverson

Randolph M. Siverson is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis.

  • The Logic of Political Survival

    The Logic of Political Survival

    Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, and James D. Morrow

    The authors of this ambitious book address a fundamental political question: why are leaders who produce peace and prosperity turned out of office while those who preside over corruption, war, and misery endure? Considering this political puzzle, they also answer the related economic question of why some countries experience successful economic development and others do not. The authors construct a provocative theory on the selection of leaders and present specific formal models from which their central claims can be deduced. They show how political leaders allocate resources and how institutions for selecting leaders create incentives for leaders to pursue good and bad public policy. They also extend the model to explain the consequences of war on political survival. Throughout the book, they provide illustrations from history, ranging from ancient Sparta to Vichy France, and test the model against statistics gathered from cross-national data. The authors explain the political intuition underlying their theory in nontechnical language, reserving formal proofs for chapter appendixes. They conclude by presenting policy prescriptions based on what has been demonstrated theoretically and empirically.

    • Hardcover $48.00
    • Paperback $40.00

Contributor

  • A Guide for the Young Economist, Second Edition

    A Guide for the Young Economist, Second Edition

    William Thomson

    Detailed advice on writing papers, giving presentations, and refereeing, plus an essential guide to the basics of being a graduate student in economics.

    This book is an invaluable handbook for young economists working on their dissertations, preparing their first articles for submission to professional journals, getting ready for their first presentations at conferences and job seminars, or undertaking their first refereeing assignments. In clear, concise language—a model in itself—William Thomson describes how to make written and oral presentations both engaging and efficient. Declaring "I would certainly take up arms for clarity, simplicity, and unity," Thomson covers the basics of clear exposition, including such nuts-and-bolts topics as titling papers, writing abstracts, presenting research results, and holding an audience's attention.

    This second edition features a substantial new chapter, "Being a Graduate Student in Economics," that offers guidance on such essential topics as the manners and mores of graduate school life, financial support, selecting an advisor, and navigating the job market. The chapter on giving talks has been rewritten to reflect the widespread use of presentation software, and new material has been added to the chapter on writing papers.

    • Hardcover $44.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • A Guide for the Young Economist

    A Guide for the Young Economist

    William Thomson

    This book is an invaluable guide for young economists working on their dissertations, preparing their first articles for submission to professional journals, getting ready for their first presentations at conferences and job seminars, or facing their first refereeing assignments. In clear, concise language—a model for what he advocates—William Thomson shows how to make written and oral presentations both inviting and efficient. Thomson covers the basics of clear exposition, including such nuts-and-bolts topics as titling papers, writing abstracts, presenting research results, and holding an audience's attention.

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Principle B, VP Ellipsis, and Interpretation in Child Grammar

    Principle B, VP Ellipsis, and Interpretation in Child Grammar

    Rosalind Thornton and Kenneth Wexler

    This is the first experimental study of Principle B with verb phrase ellipsis and properties of the interpretation of empty pronouns in ellipsis.

    Among the universal principles are those known as the principles of the binding theory. These principles constrain the range of interpretations that can be assigned to sentences containing reflexives and reciprocals, pronouns, and referring expressions. The principle that is relevant for pronouns, Principle B, has provided a fertile ground for the study of linguistic development. Although it has long been known that children make certain kinds of errors that appear to contradict this principle, further experimental and theoretical investigation reveals that the child does know the grammatical principle, but implements the pragmatic knowledge incorrectly. In fact, discoveries concerning children's knowledge of Principle B are among the most well-known in the study of language acquisition because of the dissociation between syntactic and pragmatic knowledge (binding versus reference).

    In this book the authors deepen and extend the results of years of developmental investigation of Principle B by studying the interaction of Principle B with verb phrase ellipsis and properties of the interpretation of empty pronouns in ellipsis—properties of "strict" and "sloppy" interpretation. This is the first experimental study of these topics in the developmental literature. The striking results show that detailed predictions from the "pragmatic deficiency" theory seem to be correct. Many novel experimental results concern the question of how children interpret pronouns, including elided pronouns, and how they understand VP ellipsis. The authors present the necessary theoretical background on Principle B, review and critique previous accounts of childrens errors, and present a novel account of why children misinterpret pronouns. The book will thus be of interest not only to readers interested in the development of the binding theory, but to those interested in the development of interpretation and reference by children.

    • Hardcover $45.00
  • Investigations in Universal Grammar

    Investigations in Universal Grammar

    A Guide to Experiments on the Acquisition of Syntax and Semantics

    Stephen Crain and Rosalind Thornton

    This introductory guide to language acquisition research is presented within the framework of Universal Grammar, a theory of the human faculty for language. The authors focus on two experimental techniques for assessing children's linguistic competence: the Elicited Production task, a production task, and the Truth Value Judgment task, a comprehension task. Their methodologies are designed to overcome the numerous obstacles to empirical investigation of children's language competence. They produce research results that are more reproducible and less likely to be dismissed as an artifact of improper experimental procedure.

    In the first section of the book, the authors examine the fundamental assumptions that guide research in this area; they present both a theory of linguistic competence and a model of language processing. In the following two sections, they discuss in detail their two experimental techniques.

    • Hardcover $88.00
    • Paperback $37.00
  • Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax

    Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax

    Dana McDaniel, Cecile McKee, and Helen Smith Cairns

    This book is designed in part as a handbook to assist students and researchers in the choice and use of methods for investigating children's grammar.

    The study of child language and, in particular, child syntax is a growing area of linguistic research, yet methodological issues often take a back seat to the findings and conclusions of specific studies in the field. This book is designed in part as a handbook to assist students and researchers in the choice and use of methods for investigating children's grammar. For example, a method (or combination of methods) can be chosen based on what is measured and who the target subject is. In addition to the selection of methods, there are also pointers for designing and conducting experimental studies and for evaluating research.

    Methods for Assessing Children's Syntax combines the best features of approaches developed in experimental psychology and linguistics that ground the study of language within the study of human cognition. The first three parts focus on specific methods, divided according to the type of data collected: production, comprehension, and judgment. Chapters in the fourth part take up general methodological considerations that arise regardless of which method is used. All of the methods described can be modified to meet the requirements of a specific study.

    Contributors Helen Smith Cairns, Katherine Demuth, Jill de Villiers, Suzanne Flynn, Claire Foley, LouAnn Gerken, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Helen Goodluck, Peter Gordon, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer Ryan Hsu, Louis Michael Hsu, Celia Jakubowicz, Laurence B. Leonard, Barbara Lust, Dana McDaniel, Cecile McKee, Thomas Roeper, Michele E. Shady, Karin Stromswold, Rosalind Thornton

    Language, Speech, and Communication series

    • Hardcover $55.00
    • Paperback $35.00