Research on modern welfare states has been strongly influenced by the theory that they develop according to patterns, which form distinct regimes liberal, corporatist, and social democratic. These regimes are characterized by several key variables, among which the decommodification of labor is heavily weighted. This article examines the operational assumptions, measures, and calculations used in the most widely cited empirical study around which distinct regime theory has developed over the last decade. The findings reveal critical methodological weaknesses in the conceptualization and quantification of decommodification measures, which form the empirical cornerstone of distinct regime theory.

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