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Contribution to Book
What if we waited a little longer? The dependent variable problem within the comparative analysis of the welfare state revisited
Social policy review, 27 : Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015
  • Stefan KÜHNER, University of York, United Kingdom
Document Type
Book chapter
Publication Date
1-1-2014
Publisher
Policy Press
Keywords
  • dependent variable problem,
  • welfare state dynamics,
  • welfare state change,
  • social rights,
  • social expenditure,
  • comparative analysis
Disciplines
Abstract

Generally regarded as the main trigger for the ‘welfare modelling business’, Esping-Andersen’s (1990) Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism also heralded the so-called ‘dependent variable problem’ within the comparative analysis of the welfare state. This chapter offers an update, revision and extension of my earlier study (Kühner, 2007): first, it presents a review of recent contributions on the ‘dependent variable problem’; second, it argues, based on comprehensive descriptive analyses of state-of-the-art expenditure and social rights based measures covering 21 OECD countries (1980-2013), that summary indicators of welfare state change continue to struggle producing consistent results for several high-income countries and that Esping-Andersen’s regime typology fails to fully account for these welfare state dynamics. This chapter therefore concludes thatthe dependent variable continues to be a problem of theoretical ambiguity and data operationalisation. It also offers that quantitatively-informed research should continue to focus its efforts on developing disaggregated research frameworks.

DOI
10.1332/policypress/9781447322771.003.0010
Language
English
Publisher Statement

Copyright © The Policy Press/Social Policy Association 2014

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Additional Information
ISBN of the source publication: 9781447322771
Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Kühner, S. (2014). What if we waited a little longer? The dependent variable problem within the comparative analysis of the welfare state revisited. In Z. Irving, M. Fenger, & J. Hudson (Eds.), Social policy review, 27: Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015 (pp. 199-224). Bristol: Policy Press. doi: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322771.003.0010