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On the composite indicators for food security: Decisions matter!

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  • Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano

Abstract

During the past decades, there has been much debate on food security. A variety of indicators have been proposed in order to establish which countriesare in need of improved food security status. The heterogeneity of existing indicators and the lack of consensus on how to compare and rank countries have motivated international organizations to build composite indexes to synthesize the information. The process of building composite indexes involves multiple choices that influence the outcome. Our analysis aims at understanding how relevant and discretional may be the analyst’s choice of algorithms to compute composite indexes for food security. To this extent, we have computed several composite indexes for food security by using data provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization, which includes a large set of proxies for food security, as emerged from the Committee on World Food Security Round Table. We compare different methods to impute, homogenize, weight and aggregate data, in order to compute composite indexes and show how relevant are the choices to be made. We show that normalization and weighting are not very crucial decisions, whereas special attention has to be paid in choosing the data imputation and aggregation methods. By commenting on the implications that different measurement choices may have in terms global index, we show that the index construction decisions matter.

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  • Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano, 2014. "On the composite indicators for food security: Decisions matter!," MPRA Paper 58955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:58955
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    12. Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Capitanio, Fabian & Adinolfi, Felice, 2014. "Integrating Agricultural Risks Management Strategies in selected EU Partner Countries: Syria, Tunisia, Turkey," MPRA Paper 58935, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
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    15. Ajwal Dsouza & Gordon W. Price & Mike Dixon & Thomas Graham, 2021. "A Conceptual Framework for Incorporation of Composting in Closed-Loop Urban Controlled Environment Agriculture," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(5), pages 1-27, February.
    16. Freire, Tiago & Rudkin, Simon, 2019. "Healthy food diversity and supermarket interventions: Evidence from the Seacroft Intervention Study," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 125-138.
    17. Ahmed, Osama, 2018. "Vertical price transmission in the Egyptian tomato sector after the Arab Spring," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 5094-5109.
    18. Chand, Digambar & Gartia, Rajendra, 2016. "Divergence Of Food And Nutritional Security- A Study On Western Odisha," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 4(1), pages 1-22, January.
    19. Yang Ding & Yelin Fu & Kin Keung Lai & W. K. John Leung, 2018. "Using Ranked Weights and Acceptability Analysis to Construct Composite Indicators: A Case Study of Regional Sustainable Society Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 871-885, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food policy; Food security; Index; Composite Index;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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