Using Quantitative Approaches to Understand What the Policy Did

Richard Hoefer

in Policy Creation and Evaluation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735198
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918560 | DOI:

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

Using Quantitative Approaches to Understand What the Policy Did

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This chapter devotes itself to describing and then applying quantitative methods to evaluate policy outcomes. This chapter provides an overview of quantitative methods, particularly from an evaluation perspective. We then use two examples of evaluations of aspects of the welfare reform law to apply our understanding of the strengths and limitations of this style of analysis. We discuss several aspects of quantitative methods, including secondary data analysis, survey research, standardized measures, design issues and inferential statistical analysis.

Keywords: social policy; program evaluation; TANF; quantitative methods; qualitative analysis; policy analysis; secondary data analysis; survey research; standardized measures; inferential statistical analysis

Chapter.  9937 words. 

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