Assessing the validity and reliability of measurements when evaluating public policy

Michele Crepaz, Raj Chari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


A substantial aspect of scientific research involves linking concepts to observations using measurements. This exercise has raised questions among researchers of whether or not measurements “truly” and “reliably” capture ideas and observations. We address this question by setting out a methodological standard on how to assess the validity and reliability of measurements. We do this by examining measurements that evaluate public policy, arguing that this topic is gaining increasing attention from political science researchers and policymakers. The analysis concerns measurements of the level of transparency and accountability of lobbying laws, central to recent regulatory policy research. We conduct convergent validation, content validation and reproducibility tests on four indices applied to 13 regulations found worldwide. By doing so, the article provides scholars with an evaluation of measurements of lobbying laws’ robustness, while offering methodological and theoretical lessons of value to larger regulatory and public policy scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 275-304
JournalJournal of Public Policy
Issue number3
Early online date09 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


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