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On the Use of Social Clocks for the Monitoring of Multidimensional Social Development


This article describes a new methodology for monitoring multidimensional social development using social clocks: comparisons with so called reference trajectories make it possible to establish the development stage of a country along a number of independent time axes, thus affording new opportunities for analyzing leads, lags, and asynchronies between variables and countries. This article explores these new possibilities and discusses some of the difficulties in the use of social clocks. To demonstrate the fruitfulness of the new concepts, the article presents an application of the methodology by analyzing the socio-economic development of ten Eastern European countries in the period before they joined the European Union.

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Correspondence to Georg P. Mueller.

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Mueller, G.P. On the Use of Social Clocks for the Monitoring of Multidimensional Social Development. Soc Indic Res 102, 23–37 (2011).

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  • Methodology
  • Social time
  • Asynchronies
  • Time leads
  • Time lags
  • Social development
  • Eastern Europe