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Article
Evidence and Inference in the Comparative Case StudyEvidence and Inference in the Comparative Case Study
Comparative Politics (1998)
  • Douglas Dion, University of Iowa
Abstract
Comparative case studies often rely on the analysis of a few cases selected on the dependent variable. This approach has been criticized in the methodological literature. I offer a qualified defense of the method. Selecting on the dependent variable is appropriate when necessary conditions are being evaluated. Works that have been criticized for selecting on the dependent variable make appropriate claims about necessary conditions. Evaluation of the inferential problems suggest guidelines for case selection and analysis. In particular, a simple Bayesian model can question whether comparative case studies necessarily suffer from a "small n" problem. Necessary conditions are an important, if undervalued, tool of political analysis.
Disciplines
Publication Date
January, 1998
Citation Information
Douglas Dion. "Evidence and Inference in the Comparative Case StudyEvidence and Inference in the Comparative Case Study" Comparative Politics Vol. 30 Iss. 2 (1998)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/douglas_dion/2/