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The tyranny of international index rankings

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Author Info

  • Høyland, Bjørn
  • Moene, Karl
  • Willumsen, Fredrik

Abstract

International index rankings are popular, but perhaps too persuasive. They emphasize country differences where similarity is the dominant feature. Rankings based on Doing Business, the Human Development Index and Freedom House can be misleading, not because of wrong indicators, but because the estimation of the scores ignores inherent uncertainty. Re-estimated with a method that captures this uncertainty, it becomes clear that ranking every adjacent country is a rather courageous activity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 97 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-14

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:97:y:2012:i:1:p:1-14

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: International indexes; Ranking; Latent variables;

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References

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  1. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Mashup Indices of Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 27(1), pages 1-32, February.
  2. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 1994. "Human development Index: Methodology and Measurement," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1994-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  3. Tina Søreide, 2006. "Is it wrong to rank? A critical assessment of corruption indices," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  4. Jarvis, Cheryl Burke & MacKenzie, Scott B & Podsakoff, Philip M, 2003. " A Critical Review of Construct Indicators and Measurement Model Misspecification in Marketing and Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 199-218, September.
  5. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2004. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(2), pages 253-287.
  6. International Finance Corporation & World Bank, 2007. "Doing Business 2008 : Comparing Regulation in 178 Economies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6869, October.
  7. Morse, Stephen, 2003. "For better or for worse, till the human development index do us part?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 281-296, June.
  8. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
  9. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  10. International Finance Corporation & World Bank, 2008. "Doing Business 2009 : Comparing Regulation in 181 Economies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6313, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chris Tofallis, 2013. "An automatic-democratic approach to weight setting for the new human development index," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1325-1345, October.
  2. Stephen Morse, 2013. "Bottom Rail on Top: The Shifting Sands of Sustainable Development Indicators as Tools to Assess Progress," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(6), pages 2421-2441, May.
  3. Givens, David, 2013. "Defining governance matters: A factor analytic assessment of governance institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1026-1053.
  4. Wenzel, Lars & Wolf, André, 2013. "Towards a new measure of a country's competitiveness: applying canonical correlation," HWWI Research Papers 144, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  5. Dandume, Muhammad Yusuf, 2013. "Institution and Economic Growth performance in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 52356, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
  6. Patrick Nussbaumer & Francesco Fuso Nerini & Ijeoma Onyeji & Mark Howells, 2013. "Global Insights Based on the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(5), pages 2060-2076, May.
  7. Thomas Denk, 2013. "How to measure polyarchy with Freedom House: a proposal for revision," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(6), pages 3457-3471, October.

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