1turning Qualitative into Quantitative Evidence: A Well-Used Method Made Explicit

33 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2009

See all articles by A. W. CARUS

A. W. CARUS

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sheilagh Ogilvie

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Abstract

Many historians reject quantitative methods as inappropriate to understanding past societies. This article argues that no sharp distinction between qualitative and quantitative concepts can be drawn, as almost any concept used to describe a past society is implicitly quantitative. Many recent advances in understanding have been achieved by deriving quantitative evidence from qualitative evidence, using the two dialectically, and indexing them against other quantitative findings from the same population. We show that this triangulation method can be extended to many apparently qualitative sources. Despite its successes, the potential of turning qualitative into quantitative evidence has only just begun to be exploited.

Suggested Citation

CARUS, A. W. and Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 1turning Qualitative into Quantitative Evidence: A Well-Used Method Made Explicit. The Economic History Review, Vol. 62, Issue 4, pp. 893-925, November 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488454 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00486.x

A. W. CARUS (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Sheilagh Ogilvie

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom
44-1223-335200 (Phone)
44-1223-335475 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/people/faculty/sco2

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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