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Constructing a summary index using the standardized inverse-covariance weighted average of indicators

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Schwab

    () (Kansas State University)

  • Sarah Janzen

    () (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

  • Nicholas P. Magnan

    () (University of Georgia)

  • William M. Thompson

    () (IDInsight)

Abstract

Researchers often want to examine the relationship between a variable of interest and multiple related outcomes. To avoid problems of inference that arise from testing multiple hypotheses, one can create a summary index of the outcomes. Summary indices facilitate generalizing findings and can be more powerful than individual tests. In this article, we introduce a command, swindex, that implements the generalized least-squares method of index construction pro- posed by Anderson (2008, Journal of the American Statistical Association 103: 1481–1495). We describe the command and its options and provide an example based on Blattman, Fiala, and Martinez’s (2014, Quarterly Journal of Economics 129: 697–752) evaluation of a cash transfer program in Uganda.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Schwab & Sarah Janzen & Nicholas P. Magnan & William M. Thompson, 2020. "Constructing a summary index using the standardized inverse-covariance weighted average of indicators," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 20(4), pages 952-964, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsj:stataj:v:20:y:2020:i:4:p:952-964
    DOI: 10.1177/1536867X20976325
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    Keywords

    swindex; index construction; GLS;
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