Importing set-theoretic tools into quantitative research: the case of necessary and sufficient conditions

James Mahoney*, Andrew Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we import set-theoretic methods from the qualitative research tradition into the quantitative research tradition. We focus specifically on set-theoretic methods designed to analyze the extent to which a condition is necessary and is sufficient for an outcome of interest. We use these methods to reanalyze four major studies from the quantitative tradition. We find that set-theoretic methods call attention to asymmetrical patterns in the data that otherwise go unnoticed and unanalyzed. We develop a general set-theoretic framework for the study of necessity and sufficiency. We conclude that the use of this framework can enrich existing and future quantitative research in the social sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQuality and Quantity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Causality
  • Experiments
  • Logic
  • Mixed methods
  • Multi-method research
  • QCA
  • Qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Social Sciences(all)

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