In the social sciences it is hardly contested that “institutions matter”. Consequently the analysis of differences and similarities of institutions should be a routine task. Prevailing methods to the measurement of institutions are however problematic, in particular when they have to deal with different levels of measurement. To overcome this, in this paper we present an innovative method to the quantification of qualitative institutional data. We do this by, first, developing benchmarks for comparison based on Weberian ideal types. Then we identify and operationalise the dimensions and indicators to a nuanced measurement of institutions, after which we apply a careful and differentiated scoring, weighting and aggregation procedure in order to guarantee the highest standards of comparability, transparency and reliability of the method. Finally, we demonstrate our method by applying it to the analysis of institutional individualisation in European welfare institutions.
Social Indicators Research – Springer Journals
Published: May 23, 2017
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