Tuesday, November 1, 2011

IRCPPS in the Links: Does Prior Experience Impact Presidential Greatness?

John Sides considers the question at 538:
...new paper by political scientists Joseph Uscinski and Arthur Simonprovides an answer. Knowing that previous studies such as this one haven’t provided much evidence that experience matters, they improve on these studies in several ways. For one, they focus on “modern” presidents, a category that begins with William McKinley (although similar results would emerge if the analysis had begun with Woodrow Wilson or FDR). This is because the modern presidency is a much different job that the presidency of the 1700s and much of 1800s. Messrs. Uscinski and Simon also expand the measurement of presidential greatness to include not just overall ratings but ratings on specific dimensions from the 2009 C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership. Finally, they develop more precise measures of experience. So rather than simply note whether a president served in the military (most presidents did), they count the numbers of years each president served in both wartime and peacetime...