Vignette data in a comparative child maintenance study
Hakovirta, Mia; Haapanen, Mari (2020-02-25)
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In this working paper, we describe the vignette data collection method as used in a research project “Comparative study of child maintenance policies, family complexity and equalities” funded by the Academy of Finland for the years 2016-21. Vignettes represented complex post-separation family scenarios and provided answers to the questions around how child maintenance policies are dealt with when financial responsibility is shared between separated parents. National informants were asked to explain how their country’s child maintenance policy worked and what its outcomes were likely to be, such as the amount of child maintenance owed in each scenario. We describe how the vignettes were constructed, how data was collected and particularly what the strengths and limitations of the method were. We address the central issues that researchers have to deal with when conducting cross-national comparative research using the vignette approach in the domain of child maintenance or any other public policy scheme.
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