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Composite Indices: Rank Robustness, Statistical Association and Redundancy

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  • James Foster

    ()
    (Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Oxford Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford Oxford. University of Oxford.)

  • Mark McGillivray

    ()
    (Alfred Deakin Research Institute, Deakin University)

  • Suman Seth

    ()
    (Department of International Development Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the robustness of rankings obtained from composite indices that combine information from two or more components via a weighted sum. It examines the empirical prevalence of robust comparisons using the method proposed by Foster, McGillivray and Seth (2010). Indices examined are the Human Development Index, the Index of Economic Freedom and the Environmental Performance Index. Key theoretical results demonstrate links between the prevalence of robust comparisons, Kendall's tau rank correlation coefficient, and statistical association across components. Implications for redundancy among index components are also examined.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2011-19.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2011-19

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Web page: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/
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Related research

Keywords: composite index; multidimensional index; Human Development Index; rank robustness; positive association; Kendall's tau; redundancy; prevalence function.;

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References

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  1. Boland, Philip J. & Proschan, Frank, 1988. "Multivariate arrangement increasing functions with applications in probability and statistics," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 286-298, May.
  2. Michela Nardo & Michaela Saisana & Andrea Saltelli & Stefano Tarantola & Anders Hoffman & Enrico Giovannini, 2005. "Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2005/3, OECD Publishing.
  3. Mark McGillivray & Howard White, 1993. "Measuring development? The UNDP's human development index," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 183-192, 03.
  4. Laurens Cherchye & Erwin Ooghe & Tom Puyenbroeck, 2008. "Robust human development rankings," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 287-321, December.
  5. Miles Cahill, 2005. "Is the Human Development Index Redundant?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-5, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 289-314, June.
  2. Stergios Athanassoglou, 2013. "Robust Multidimensional Welfare Comparisons: One Vector of Weights, One Vote," Working Papers 2013.40, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Athanassoglou, Stergios, 2013. "Multidimensional welfare rankings," MPRA Paper 51642, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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