Investigating Welfare State Change: The 'Dependent Variable Problem' in Comparative Analysis
By: Jochen Clasen (editor), Nico A. Siegel (editor)Paperback
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Contemporary accounts of welfare state change have produced conflicting findings and incompatible theoretical explanations. To a large extent this is due to a 'dependent variable problem' within comparative research, whereby there is insufficient consideration of how to conceptualize, operationalize and measure change. With contributions from leading international scholars, this important book presents a comprehensive examination of conventional indicators (such as social spending), available alternatives (including social rights and conditionality), as well as principal concepts of how to capture change (for example convergence and de-familization).By providing an in-depth discussion of the most salient aspects of the 'dependent variable problem', the editors aim to enable a more cumulative build-up of empirical evidence and contribute to constructive theoretical debates about the causes of welfare state change. The volume also offers valuable suggestions as to how the problem might be tackled within empirical cross-national analysis of modern welfare states.
The focus on the methodology of conceptualizing and measuring welfare state change in a comparative perspective gives this unique book widespread appeal amongst scholars and researchers of social policy and sociology, as well as students at both the advanced undergraduate and post-graduate level studying comparative social policy, research methods and welfare reform.
Contents:PART I: THE 'DEPENDENT VARIABLE PROBLEM' IN COMPARATIVE WELFARE STATE RESEARCH1. Comparative Welfare State Analysis and the 'Dependent Variable Problem'Jochen Clasen and Nico A. Siegel2. More than Data Questions and Methodological Issues: Theoretical Conceptualization and the Dependent Variable 'Problem' in the Study of Welfare ReformChristoffer Green-Pedersen3. Too Narrow and Too Wide at Once: The 'Welfare State' as Dependent Variable in Policy AnalysisGiuliano BonoliPART II: MEASURING AND ANALYSING 'WELFARE EFFORTS': SOCIAL EXPENDITURE REVISITED4. When (Only) Money Matters: The Pros and Cons of Expenditure AnalysisNico A. Siegel5. Social Expenditure Under Scrutiny: The Problems of Using Aggregate Spending Data for Assessing Welfare State DynamicsJohan De Deken and Bernhard Kittel6. Social Rights, Structural Needs and Social Expenditure: A Comparative Study of 18 OECD Countries 1960-2000Olli Kangas and Joakim PalmePART III: BEYOND SPENDING: WELFARE STATE GENEROSITY, SOCIAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS 7. Welfare State Generosity Across Space and TimeLyle Scruggs8. Levels and Levers of Conditionality: Measuring Change Within Welfare StatesJochen Clasen and Daniel Clegg9. Exploring Diversity: Measuring Welfare State Change with Fuzzy-Set MethodologyJon KvistPART IV: CAPTURING THE NATURE OF WELFARE STATE CHANGE10. Convergence in European Welfare State Analysis: Convergence of What?Julia S. O'Connor11. (In)Dependence as Dependent Variable: Conceptualizing and Measuring 'De-familization'Sigrid Leitner and Stephan Lessenich12. Pension Reform: Beyond Path Dependency?Sven JochemReferencesIndex
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