Problem set 2

Due by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, February 2, 2021


You must submit all assignments as a PDF document. Answer all questions carefully and neatly. Use section headings to distinguish what question you are answering. Be neat. If the question involves a graph, copy/paste the graph into your document and make sure the graph has a title.

Task 1: Identity in your country

Find two articles1 discussing race, ethnicity, or identity2 in the country you started working with last week. Give me a brief summary of what exactly the issue or challenge is at hand, and connect it to concepts from either the readings or lecture/discussion.

Task 2: Race and skin-tone

Here, we are going to work with a big survey of 4 countries fielded in 2014 by the Latin American Public Opinion Project. Download the dataset here.

Each row in the dataset is a person who answered the survey. The table below tells you what each variable means. For the skin color variable see the palette at the bottom of this page.3

  1. Let’s see how much color elasticity there is across these four countries. Look at the color palette below, and try to find a shade that is decently close to yours4. Filter the data so you are only looking at respondents who match the skin tone you chose. Now, make a bar chart or pie chart of etid to look at the distribution of racial categories for people with this particular skin-tone identify with. Include the barplot in your document. Overall, what are your reactions? Are you surprised by how people with this skin tone identify?

  2. Exit the filter so you are back in the full dataset. Using pivot tables, calculate the average income for each race group in the survey and make a barplot. Now, do the same for skin color. Include both plots in your document. Discuss the results; what is the general pattern? Which identity variable is more associated with income in LA? That is, are the differences in income greater across racial groups or across skin color?

Task 3: LGBT rights

LGBT rights in Latin America have become a growing topic of discussion in the last two decades.

  1. Find one news article discussing a challenge faced by the LGBT community in the country you’ve chosen, or if you’re not finding anything, a country similar to yours. Summarize the challenge/problem in 3-4 sentences (include links).

  2. Use a pivot table to calculate average support for d5 across ages5 and make a barplot of the results. Repeat this with d6. Include both plots and discuss the results; what does the overall trend look like? How big is the difference in support for these policies between old and young people? Comparing the two issues, which is more polarizing?

Variable dictionary

original labels
pais Country
q2 Age
etid Ethnicity
ed Years of Schooling
colorr Skin Color
q10new_14 Monthly Household Income
d5 Approval of Homosexuals’ Right to Run for Office (1 - strong disapprove, 10 - strong approve)
d6 Approval of Same-Sex Couples’ Right to Marry (1 - strong disapprove, 10 - strong approve)

Color palette

LAPOP color palette

  1. News article is fine, or a journal article, anything works. If there’s a Wikipedia article on your topic, that’s fine.↩︎

  2. broadly defined; for example, LGBT identities would work, even though we did not discuss this week. Religious identities also work.↩︎

  3. Income is monthly household income broken down into 11 categories. Unfortunately, they vary by country so I can’t give you exact details. But roughly: 0 = no income; 1 = about 50$ USD; 8 = 200$; 16 = 1,100$.↩︎

  4. I know these are cartoonishly absurd colors that don’t really match human skin. But it’s what LAPOP uses…↩︎

  5. So you want the average value of d5 for 18 year olds, 19 year olds, etc.↩︎