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Counting Civilian CasualtiesAn Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict$
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Taylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, and Baruch Fischhoff

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977307

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977307.001.0001

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It Doesn’t Add Up

It Doesn’t Add Up

Methodological and Policy Implications of Conflicting Casualty Data

Chapter:
(p.247) 12 It Doesn’t Add Up
Source:
Counting Civilian Casualties
Author(s):

Jule Krüger

Patrick Ball

Megan E. Price

Amelia Hoover Green

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199977307.003.0012

This chapter discusses the challenges presented by incompleteness and uncertainty in databases of casualty counts. Analysis of multiple available reporting databases often reveals different patterns of violence in terms of both scope and nature. To examine such discrepancies, the chapter focuses on past armed conflict situations in Colombia, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and East Timor.The examples demonstrate that selection bias (also called reporting bias) is a serious issue for analysts working with convenience samples of observed casualty records. It is argued that the methodological implications of selection bias need to be considered in theory building, statistical inference, impact assessment, and policy making.

Keywords:   reporting databases, convenience samples, selection bias, incompleteness, uncertainty

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