Natural Experiments of History
Harvard University Press, Nov 1, 2012 - History - 286 pages
In eight case studies by leading scholars in history, archaeology, business, economics, geography, and political science, the authors showcase the “natural experiment” or “comparative method”—well-known in any science concerned with the past—on the discipline of human history. That means, according to the editors, “comparing, preferably quantitatively and aided by statistical analyses, different systems that are similar in many respects, but that differ with respect to the factors whose influence one wishes to study.” The case studies in the book support two overall conclusions about the study of human history: First, historical comparisons have the potential for yielding insights that cannot be extracted from a single case study alone. Second, insofar as is possible, when one proposes a conclusion, one may be able to strengthen one’s conclusion by gathering quantitative evidence (or at least ranking one’s outcomes from big to small), and then by testing the conclusion’s validity statistically.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dandelionroots - LibraryThing
Considers seven historical comparisons, some with and with out statistical analysis making the case that both have their place and usefulness within the social sciences, but that statistical analysis ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Janientrelac - LibraryThing
Mixed bag of Articles around the theme of what is a natural experiment, how a historian makes the comparision and does the math. a lot of the statistical work was right over my head but interesting. I had no idea that so many original documents were avaliable about the slave trade for example. Read full review