Title

What if we waited a little longer? The dependent variable problem within the comparative analysis of the welfare state revisited

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

Social policy review, 27 : Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015

Publication Date

1-1-2014

First Page

199

Last Page

224

Publisher

Policy Press

Keywords

dependent variable problem, welfare state dynamics, welfare state change, social rights, social expenditure, comparative analysis

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

Publisher Statement

Copyright © The Policy Press/Social Policy Association 2014

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9781447322771

Recommended Citation

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