Abstract

The analysis of necessary conditions for some outcome of interest has long been one of the main preoccupations of scholars in all disciplines of the social sciences. In this connection, the introduction of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in the late 1980s has revolutionized the way research on necessary conditions has been carried out. Standards of good practice for QCA have long demanded that the results of preceding tests for necessity constrain QCA’s core process of Boolean minimization so as to enhance the quality of parsimonious and intermediate solutions. Schneider and Wagemann’s Theory-Guided/Enhanced Standard Analysis (T/ESA) is currently being adopted by applied researchers as the new state-of-the-art procedure in this respect. In drawing on Schneider and Wagemann’s own illustrative data example and a meta-analysis of thirty-six truth tables across twenty-one published studies that have adhered to current standards of good practice in QCA, I demonstrate that, once bias against compound conditions in necessity tests is accounted for, T/ESA will produce conservative solutions, and not enhanced parsimonious or intermediate ones.

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