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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ukpe, Offiong Uma & Nweze, Noble Jackson & Arene, Chukwuemeka John, 2016. "Food Insecurity Vulnerability Status Of Farm Households In Niger- Delta, Nigeria," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-15, January.
    3. Chege, Jane Wambui & Rose Athiambo, Nyikal & Mburu, John & Muriithi, Beatrice Wambui, 2015. "Impact Of Export Horticulture Farming On Per Capita Calorie Intake Of Smallholder Farmers In Eastern And Central Provinces In Kenya," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-17, October.
    4. Shabnam, Nadia & Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Seccia, Antonio & Asghar, Zahid, 2016. "The Impact of the Food Price Crises on the demand for nutrients in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 72971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ilya Solntsev & Anatoly Vorobyev & Elnura Irmatova & Nikita Osokin, 2016. "Rating evaluation of sports development efficiency using statistical analysis: evidence from Russian football," Papers 1612.07543, arXiv.org.
    6. 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. 0(Number 1), pages 1-22, January.
    7. Maricic, Milica & Bulajic, Milica & Dobrota, Marina & Jeremic, Veljko, 2016. "Redesigning The Global Food Security Index: A Multivariate Composite I-Distance Indicator Approach," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-18, January.
    8. Nadia Shabnam & Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Zahid Asghar & Antonio Seccia, 2016. "The Impact of Food Price Crises on the Demand for Nutrients in Pakistan," Journal of South Asian Development, , vol. 11(3), pages 305-327, December.
    9. Carman, Katherine Grace & Zamarro, Gema, 2016. "Does Financial Literacy Contribute To Food Security?," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-19, January.
    10. Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Shabnam, Nadia, 2015. "The income-elasticity of calories, macro and micro nutrients: What is the literature telling us?," MPRA Paper 63754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Ouertani, Emna, 2016. "Food Security In Tunisia Within Water Scarcity The Relative Importance Of The Meat Sector," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-20, January.
    12. Pemberton, Carlisle & Patterson-Andrews, Hazel & Sormeaux, Afiya De, 2016. "Relative Vulnerability Of Selected Caribbean States To Changes In Food Security Due To Tropical Storms And Hurricanes," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-12, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food policy; Food security; Index; Composite Index;

    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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