From Dependent to Independent Variable: A Critical Assessment of Operationalisations of ‘Welfare Stateness’ as Macro-Level Indicators in Multilevel Analyses
Katharina Kunißen ()
Additional contact information
Katharina Kunißen: Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2019, vol. 142, issue 2, No 7, 597-616
Abstract This paper explores different ways to operationalise properties of the welfare state as explanatory variable in multilevel frameworks. Based on the observation that many common applications of welfare state measurements as independent macro-level variables lack standardised proceeding, differences between commonly used approaches (single indicators, regime typologies, and composite indices) are examined concerning their consequences for empirical results and their comparability. Each approach is first discussed regarding conceptual premises and practical applications in the literature. In a second step, differences are demonstrated empirically by performing several multilevel analyses using welfare attitudes as an exemplary dependent variable. The comparison shows that even slight differences in the operationalisation have an impact on the results and their explanatory contribution. Based on this, the paper offers possible points of departure for the development of more fitting operationalisations for the specific use as explanatory instruments. This includes criteria a measurement should meet and a stronger focus on capturing the relevant causal mechanisms assumed to be at work. The aim of this paper is thus twofold. On the one hand, it provides an overview of existing strategies and raises awareness to critical issues. On the other hand, it gives some initial pointers for a conceptual debate about how to turn characteristics of the welfare state into macro-level indicators, which can serve as independent variable.
Keywords: Welfare state; Operationalisation; Social policy; Indicator; Multilevel (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11205-018-1930-3 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:soinre:v:142:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-018-1930-3
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement is currently edited by Filomena Maggino
More articles in Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().