Symposium »Analysing the Dynamics of Social Change in Europe« (JCE 1/2002)
2002. P.
Available as
39,80 €
ISBN 978-3-428-10894-7


This special edition of "Schmollers Jahrbuch" has been compiled to illustrate the potential value of comparative European studies. As Melvin Kohn says, "cross-national research is valuable, even indispensable, for establishing the generality of findings and the validity of interpretations derived from single-nation studies. It is equally valuable, perhaps even more valuable, for forcing us to revise our interpretations to take account of cross-national differences and inconsistencies that could never be uncovered in single-nation studies".

Cross-country comparisons are of immense potential value for different actors. Within Europe they are of likely significance:

- To the institutions of the EU itself, offering a detailed map of variations in social and economic experiences between countries and groups of countries.

- To policy makers at the national level, showing how far the social and economic problems observed locally are experienced in common with other European countries.

- To social scientists seeking to understand the processes and results of change. If the influences identified in one country are not generalisable to other countries, it is necessary to develop hypotheses about the reasons for the differences.

- To analysts of social policy looking for general conclusions about the influence of government actions on individuals' lives in Europe.

There are many different approaches to cross-country research. Summary macro-data may be compared across many countries. At the other extreme, highly detailed studies can be undertaken of the effects of policy in just two or three countries. The papers in this compilation are focused on micro-level data about individuals and households in most of the countries in the EU. They are mostly based on one cross-national survey, the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). Most of them have been contributed by members of the European Panel Analysis Group (EPAG).

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