Recent Publications

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. Measuring the impact of an organizational inclusion programme on absence among employees with disabilities: A quasi‐experimental design. International Labour Review, 2019.

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. The Power of EI Competencies Over Intelligence and Individual Performance: A Task-Dependent Model. Frontiers in Psychology, 2018.

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. Religious tides: The time‐variant effect of religion on morality policies. Regulation & Governance, 2018.

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. The Governance of Goal-Directed Networks and Network Tasks: An Empirical Analysis of European Regulatory Networks. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 2017.

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. A matter of timing: The religious factor and morality policies. Governance, 2017.

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. ggmcmc: Analysis of MCMC Samples and Bayesian Inference. Journal of Statistical Software, 2016.

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Selected Publications

State structures have experienced significant transformation with the spread of globalization. This paper examines how to measure one major change that has occurred in recent decades: the worldwide proliferation of public agencies with regulatory tasks. It remains unclear how their configurations vary across countries and sectors, and what can be learned from these variations. To better identify these agencies worldwide, we introduce a new dataset on the institutional features of 799 agencies in 115 countries and 17 policy sectors. The dataset contains variables from their institutional profiles, covering a broad range of formal characteristics. To examine the diverse faces the regulatory state has adopted along its globalization path in depth, our variables are grouped into four blocs: regulatory responsibilities, managerial autonomy, political independence, and public accountability. As such, we depart from the view that a single dimension does capture the actual diversity of institutional forms regulatory agencies may exhibit. We also use factor and cluster analyses to assess their various forms, and suggest a typology of agency institutional models to facilitate more precise studies on the regulatory state. Results confirm that the regulatory state shows greater variety than usually expected.
Regulation & Governance, 2018

The question of whether or not religion accounts for variance in the governance of moral issues, between and within countries over time, has long been debated but never conclusively answered. A novel data set encompassing innovative measurements of state regulation of ‘life-and-death’ issues and of the religious stratification of society enables us to answer why previous studies reached contradictory results. The time-series cross-sectional analysis of 26 countries over 50 years reveals that dominant religious denominations in society indeed influence state governance approaches regarding the issues of abortion and euthanasia. This denominational effect is shown to be contingent on the religiosity of a country’s population, but independent from the formal state–church relationship. Lastly, it is shown that the religious effect has an inverse U-shaped relationship with time, exposing the timeframe of analysis as decisive for inferences drawn in the study of morality policy.
Governance, 2017

ggmcmc is an R package for analyzing Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations from Bayesian inference. By using a well known example of hierarchical/multilevel modeling, the article reviews the potential uses and options of the package, ranging from classical convergence tests to caterpillar plots or posterior predictive checks.
Journal of Statistical Software, 2016

Regulation & Governance, 2015

Governments and public bodies have been fostering the development of e‐Government services during the last decade, promoting more and better administrative services through digital channels. The impact of this process, however, has not been fully assessed. This article investigates the relative impact of two key factors on the diffusion of e‐Government services; the level of Internet penetration and investment by governments in more and better government services. The aim is to analyze across European countries the impact of e‐Government policies on their adoption, under different levels of Internet penetration, enabling an assessment of how promotion of e‐Government (through investment in more and better services, for example) can have the maximum impact on citizenship adoption. It reports analysis of a cross‐sectional dataset of European countries using a Bayesian linear model. Results show that when Internet users are scarce, policies to foster e‐Government adoption will have little ‐ although not negligible ‐ impact. But at a certain level of Internet penetration, focused e‐Government policies have a substantial impact on citizens’ adoption of the technology. The results also highlight the importance of investing in e‐Government in the appropriate moment, that is, when its impact can be greatest. The paper, then, addresses the factors that make eGovernment policy more effective. The Bayesian inference used allows the research to avoid artificial assumptions common in comparative politics research, to design more flexible models and to present the results in a more natural way.
Policy & Internet, 2012

Comparative Political Studies, 2011

Teaching

Courses and Seminars currently offered

  • Internet Governance (MS in Political Science, LMU Munich)
  • Measuring Governance (MS in Political Science, LMU Munich)
  • Analyzing Policy and Institutional Change (MS in Political Science, LMU Munich)
  • Politics of Regulation (MS in Political Science, LMU Munich)
  • “Science” in Political Science (BS in Political Science, LMU Munich)
  • Bayesian Modelling (Summer School in Survey Methodology, UPF)
  • Applied Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling and Measurement (Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen)

Recent & Upcoming Talks

  • Measurement for public administration research, at the DAGStat conference, Munich March 2019.
  • Bayesian dynamic latent models for social sciences, poster presentation at the DAGStat conference, Munich March 2019.
  • Autonomy comes softly: Identifying political and administrative varieties of the regulatory state, at the MPSA Conference, Chicago, April 2019.
  • Explaining variation in the architecture of social policy portfolios: the interplay of political parties and institutions at the EPSA General Conference, Belfast, June 2019.

Methods & Tools

Software development for the advance of research

My research is centered on the methodology of social sciences, developing innovative quantitative frameworks for the analysis of public policy. I have designed data-gathering processes and implemented and programmed large databases to hold the complexity of the objects of study.

When analyzing data, my aim is always to develop new methods to extract as much knowledge as possible from the available information, being very strict with regards to scientific validity and theoretical innovation. To achieve this I have created innovative designs for the data collection phase, developed better software to manage the data, and invented new techniques for its analysis.

ggmcmc

I have created and mantain ggmcmc, an R package aimed at providing tools for assessing and diagnosing convergence of Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations, as well as for graphically display results from full MCMC analysis.

A method for extracting values of organizations

I have published an article that develops a method to extract configurations of values (social, economical, pragmatic) from organizations, using a combination of experts and ignoramus (several individuals in a “big data” sort of approach): Extracting configurations of values mixing scores from experts and ignoramus using Bayesian modelling.

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectometry

process_nici.zip is a python script that reads Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GS-MC) files and organizes samples, compounds and concentrations in a way that is easy to process later by statistical software.

It is described in the document Processing the quantification of samples from a NICI

Calculate standardized coefficients in SPSS for logistic regression

st_coeffs.pl is a perl script that processess coefficients from logistic regression in SPSS and produces standardized coefficients (2004).

Other software

My github account shows the projects in which I am involved, including maintaining the JAGS ebuild for gentoo.

FOASS

I am member of the Foundation for Open Access Statistics, which promotes free software, open access publishing and reproducible research in statistics.

Recent Posts

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Why PolicyPortfolios? A policy portfolio is a collection of simple assessments of the presence or absense of state intervention in a specific area (Target) using a concrete state capacity (Instrument). How specific or general the area is, is up to the researcher. How broad or restricted is the collection of assessments is also up to the researcher (Adam, Knill, and Fernandez-i-Marín 2017). Using policy portfolios as objects of analysis allows political science to standardize comparitive policy analysis by providing a common ground of policy intervention, and represents a first step of comparing state intervention in different fields of public life.

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PolicyPortfolios is an R package aimed at providing tools for managing, measuring and visualizing policy portfolios. It simplifies the creation of data structures suitable for dealing with policy portfolios, that is, two-dimensional spaces of policy instruments and policy targets. It allows to generates measures of their characteristics and facilitates its visualization. Development PolicyPortfolios is developed in github. Raise an issue, being either a bug report, a question on how to use specific functions, a request for improvement, a clarification, ask for documentation or provide ideas.

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ggmcmc is an R package aimed at providing tools for assessing and diagnosing convergence of Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations, as well as for graphically display results from full MCMC analysis. The package also facilitates the graphical interpretation of models by providing flexible functions to plot the results against observed variables. Development ggmcmc is developed in github and has attracted attention from several fields of science. Raise an issue, being either a bug report, a question on how to use specific functions, a request for improvement, a clarification, ask for documentation or provide ideas.

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