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Composite Indices: Rank Robustness, Statistical Association and Redundancy

  • 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).)

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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File URL: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/assets/docs/papers/Foster_IIEPWP2011-19.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/
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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. Miles Cahill, 2005. "Is the Human Development Index Redundant?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-5, Winter.
  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. 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.
  5. Laurens Cherchye & Erwin Oghe & Tom Van Puyenbroeck, 2005. "Robust human development rankings," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0516, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
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