Co-auteur
  • WHITFORD Josh (2)
  • TIMMERMANS Stefan (1)
  • COINTET Jean-Philippe (1)
  • BEARMAN Peter (1)
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  • Article (4)
  • Contribution à un site web (1)
in Sociological Science Publié en 2021
TIMMERMANS Stefan
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We propose an abductive logic of scientific inference for quantitative research. The advent of computational sociology has exposed the limitations of a deductive logic of inquiry for quantitative researchers due to a lack of traditional sociological variables and an abundance of unfamiliar variables and data formats, complicating hypothesis testing. In response, some researchers have embraced inductive inference, but inductive analysis without theoretical guidance risks producing atheoretical findings. An abductive logic of inquiry rests on developing new theoretical insights based on surprising research results in light of existing theories. In computational sociology, such surprising findings can be cultivated by taking advantage of the analytical potential of scaled-up data and developing flexible analytical and visualization procedures. We illustrate these tactics with a surprising finding in a study of the labor supply decisions of New York City yellow cab drivers.

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The SARS Covid-19 crisis is unique in terms of the coordinated and global dimension of its disaster management. The 1889-90 flu pandemic, the Asian flu of 1957-58, the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 and most of all the Spanish flu of 1918-20 had global effects and very high numbers of fatalities. But in those instances, disaster management was either localized or set at the national level and disconnected from global efforts. Even if the SARS epidemic of 2003-04 and the H1N1 epidemic of 2009-10 highlighted the emergence of a global disaster management capacity, government crisis management remained limited in scope and only certain countries took mitigation measures. The current crisis management is therefore particularly relevant for understanding public action in crisis, not because of the singularity of the event, but because it allows comparing large scale government responses to a single disaster. [First paragraph]

in Economic Development Quarterly Publié en 2018-11
SCHRANK Andrew
WHITFORD Josh
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There is more agreement on the need for advisory services to help small and midsized manufacturers keep up with the latest managerial techniques and technologies than there is on the optimal design of those services. This study reconfigures and reanalyzes administrative data from the American Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and draws on extensive interviews with “street-level bureaucrats” at Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, to identify and compare variation in centers’ approaches to service delivery. Centers and clients who rely on third-party providers tend to have more rather than less enduring ties, suggesting that it’s direct delivery, rather than brokerage, that is associated with one-shot deals. There is evidence also that projects generate the most impact when they help “get the relationships right” and mitigate network failures. [Résumé éditeur]

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Using co-occurrence methods for identifying semantic structure in texts, we first describe the structure of the Protestant Bible, focusing on the ways in which contents of the Bible are organized in both the New and Old Testaments. We introduce a strategy for capturing the co-occurrence of nouns and verbs in windows defined by verses that progressively move across the text, from start to finish in a manner similar to reading. We then consider how Dissenters and Conformists used the Bible by locating Biblical verse in sermons printed in England during the period from 1660 to 1780. We describe how chapters are linked by themes over time, by dissenting and conformist religious communities, and map Dissenter and Conformist uses of the Bible onto its semantic structure. We show that it is possible to induce a semantic network image of the Bible, that this structure serves as a skeletal frame for interpretation, thereby highlighting different contents as central to denominations’ religious inspirations and concerns.

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The article uses a case study of the American Manufacturing Extension Partnership to explore economic and industrial policy in the contemporary USA. Extensive quantitative and qualitative data are mobilized to show that: (a) the agency is pressured politically to limit its activities to ‘blunt’ remedies for identifiable ‘market failures’; even as (b) regional centers in fact often orient also, and sometimes instead, toward ‘coordination-oriented’ policies to mitigate ‘network failures’; and (c) these latter generate better results, on average, for client manufacturers. The findings challenge neo-institutional claims that economic policies are most effective only when complementary to the dominant institutional coordinating capacities embedded in the existing American political economy, or when they have the exceptional support of the American security establishment. They are, however, consistent with an alternative neo-Polanyian approach that explains when and how street-level policymakers dispersed across American federalism sometimes sidestep the ideological hegemony of ‘market fundamentalism’. |[Résumé éditeur]