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Article
Beyond the dependent variable problem : the methodological challenges of capturing productive and protective dimensions of social policy
Social Policy and Society
  • John HUDSON, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Stefan KÜHNER, University of York, United Kingdom
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
4-1-2010
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Disciplines
Abstract

The question of how best to account for the multidimensional character of welfare states has become an integral part of discussions on the so-called dependent variable problem within comparative welfare state research. In this paper, we discuss challenges from an attempt to capture productive and protective welfare state dimensions by means of several methodological techniques, namely Z-score standardisation, cluster analysis, factor analysis and fuzzy-set ideal type analysis. While we illustrate that a decision to use any one of these techniques has a substantial bearing on the produced findings, we specifically argue that fuzzy-set ideal type analysis offers considerable advantages over more traditional, statistically rooted approaches. This is particularly true if the observed dimensions are conceptually distinct and ‘antithetical’.

DOI
10.1017/S1474746409990327
Language
English
E-ISSN
14753073
Publisher Statement

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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Citation Information
Hudson, J., & Kühner, S. (2010). Beyond the dependent variable problem: The methodological challenges of capturing productive and protective dimensions of social policy. Social Policy and Society, 9(2), 167-179. doi: 10.1017/S1474746409990327