Stacked Regression and Poststratification
Joseph T. Ornstein
Political Analysis, 2020, vol. 28, issue 2, 293-301
I develop a procedure for estimating local-area public opinion called stacked regression and poststratification (SRP), a generalization of classical multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP). This procedure employs a diverse ensemble of predictive modelsâ€”including multilevel regression, LASSO, k-nearest neighbors, random forest, and gradient boostingâ€”to improve the cross-validated fit of the first-stage predictions. In a Monte Carlo simulation, SRP significantly outperforms MRP when there are deep interactions in the data generating process, without requiring the researcher to specify a complex parametric model in advance. In an empirical application, I show that SRP produces superior local public opinion estimates on a broad range of issue areas, particularly when trained on large datasets.
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