QCApro is a successor package to the QCA package, with QCA 1.1-4 as its original basis (Dusa and Thiem 2014; Thiem and Dusa 2012; 2013a; 2013b; 2013c). Just like its predecessor, QCApro implements the method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)—a family of techniques for analyzing configurational data in accordance with the INUS theory of causation (Mackie 1965; 1974), but it has fixed various technical and methodological problems of the QCA package and includes many new features and enhancements for applying QCA.
Moreover, QCApro is currently the only QCA software that provides many purpose-built functions for testing methodological properties of QCA and QCA-related procedures. For example, the effects of changing discretionary parameters such as the inclusion cut-off on the degree of ambiguity affecting a QCA solution can be analyzed (Baumgartner and Thiem 2017a), the consequences of increasing limited empirical diversity on the probability of QCA not committing causal fallacies can be computed (Baumgartner and Thiem 2017b), and the relation between correlational and implicational independence can be examined (Thiem and Baumgartner 2016).
Three variants can currently be processed by QCApro: crisp-set QCA (csQCA; Ragin 1987), multi-value QCA (mvQCA; Cronqvist and Berg-Schlosser 2009; Thiem 2013; 2014) and fuzzy-set QCA (fsQCA; Ragin 2000; 2008). A subvariant of csQCA called temporal QCA (tQCA) is also available (Caren and Panofsky 2005; Ragin and Strand 2008).
Several datasets from various areas are integrated in QCApro so as to facilitate familiarization with the package's functionality. Currently covered are business, management and organization (
d.stakeholder), education (
d.education), environmental sciences (
d.biodiversity), evaluation (
d.transport), legal studies (
d.napoleon), political science (
d.represent), public health (
d.tumorscreen), urban affairs (
d.urban), and sociology (
d.socialsecurity). For more details, see the datasets' documentation files.
As an additional resource, QCApro includes a comprehensive glossary for Configurational Comparative Methods. The glossary is directly accessible via the link 'User guides, package vignettes and other documentation' in the package's help index or the 'doc' folder of the package's installation folder.
If you make use of the QCApro package in your work, please acknowledge it in the interest of good scientific practice and transparency. The package citation displays on loading the package or by using the command
citation(package = "QCApro") after loading. The aforesaid command also provides a suitable BibTeX entry. To browse the latest news about the QCApro package (bug fixes, enhancements, etc.), enter
news(package = "QCApro").
Baumgartner, Michael, and Alrik Thiem. 2017a. “Model Ambiguities in Configurational Comparative Research.” Sociological Methods & Research 46 (4):954-87. DOI: 10.1177/0049124115610351.
Baumgartner, Michael, and Alrik Thiem. 2017b. “Often Trusted but Never (Properly) Tested: Evaluating Qualitative Comparative Analysis.” Sociological Methods & Research. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1177/0049124117701487.
Caren, Neal, and Aaron Panofsky. 2005. “TQCA: A Technique for Adding Temporality to Qualitative Comparative Analysis.” Sociological Methods & Research 34 (2):147-72. DOI: 10.1177/0049124105277197.
Cronqvist, Lasse, and Dirk Berg-Schlosser. 2009. “Multi-Value QCA (mvQCA).” In Configurational Comparative Methods: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Related Techniques, eds. B. Rihoux and C. C. Ragin. London: Sage Publications, pp. 69-86.
Dusa, Adrian, and Alrik Thiem. 2014. QCA: A Package for Qualitative Comparative Analysis. R Package Version 1.1-4. URL: http://www.alrik-thiem.net/software/.
Mackie, John L. 1965. “Causes and Conditions.” American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245-64. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20009173.
Mackie, John L. 1974. The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ragin, Charles C. 1987. The Comparative Method: Moving beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Ragin, Charles C. 2000. Fuzzy-Set Social Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ragin, Charles C. 2008. Redesigning Social Inquiry: Fuzzy Sets and Beyond. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ragin, Charles C., and Sarah Ilene Strand. 2008. “Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis to Study Causal Order: Comment on Caren and Panofsky (2005).” Sociological Methods & Research 36 (4):431-41. DOI: 10.1177/0049124107313903.
Thiem, Alrik. 2013. “Clearly Crisp, and Not Fuzzy: A Reassessment of the (Putative) Pitfalls of Multi-Value QCA.” Field Methods 25 (2):197-207. DOI: 10.1177/1525822x13478135.
Thiem, Alrik. 2014. “Parameters of Fit and Intermediate Solutions in Multi-Value Qualitative Comparative Analysis.” Quality & Quantity 49 (2):657-74. DOI: 10.1007/s11135-014-0015-x.
Thiem, Alrik, and Adrian Dusa. 2012. “Introducing the QCA Package: A Market Analysis and Software Review.” Qualitative & Multi-Method Research 10 (2):45-9. Link.
Thiem, Alrik, and Adrian Dusa. 2013a. “Boolean Minimization in Social Science Research: A Review of Current Software for Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).” Social Science Computer Review 31 (4):505-21. DOI: 10.1177/0894439313478999.
Thiem, Alrik, and Adrian Dusa. 2013b. “QCA: A Package for Qualitative Comparative Analysis.” The R Journal 5 (1):87-97. Link.
Thiem, Alrik, and Adrian Dusa. 2013c. Qualitative Comparative Analysis with R: A User's Guide. New York: Springer. Link.
Thiem, Alrik, and Michael Baumgartner. 2016. “Modeling Causal Irrelevance in Evaluations of Configurational Comparative Methods.” Sociological Methodology 46 (1):345-57. DOI: 10.1177/0081175016654736.
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