Not Quite Crisp, Not Yet Fuzzy? Assessing the Potentials and Pitfalls of Multi-Value QCA.

M. Vink*, O. Vliet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This article assesses the strengths and shortcomings multi-value qualitative comparative analysis (mvQCA), a comparative technique for small- to medium-sized data sets that has been integrated in the TOSMANA software developed by Lasse Cronqvist. The main difference with "crisp-set" QCA is that in mvQCA, the conditions can have more values than just the Boolean values 0 and 1, whereas the main difference with "fuzzy-set" QCA is that mvQCA conditions remain discrete. The major advantage of nondichotomous categorization, according to its proponents, is that it reduces the likelihood of contradictory configurations because of a more homogeneous grouping of cases. We give an overview of existing mvQCA applications, with a detailed discussion of two recent publications, and argue that crisp-set and fuzzy-set alternatives should be less easily discarded. as the mvQCA solution conies with substantial set-theoretical costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-289
JournalField Methods
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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