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Using principal components to produce an economic and social development index: An application to Latin America and the U.S

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  • Miles Cahill
  • Nicolás Sánchez

Abstract

This paper presents a principal components methodology for determining the weights for a set of indicators in a composite index of development. The procedure is applied to a 36-variable data set consisting of 1990 data for 19 Latin American countries and corresponding 1960 and 1990 data for the individual U.S. states. This paper compares the results with other well-known indices and uses the combined data set to better understand the level and scope of development in each region and over time. The general results are that the level of development of Latin American countries in 1990 are roughly distributed over the U.S. states in 1960 (though with a larger range), and the structure of development in Latin America is similar to the U.S. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Miles Cahill & Nicolás Sánchez, 2001. "Using principal components to produce an economic and social development index: An application to Latin America and the U.S," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(3), pages 311-329, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:29:y:2001:i:3:p:311-329
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02300552
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    References listed on IDEAS

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