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An Assessment of Weighting Methodologies for Composite Indicators: The case of the Index of Economic Well-being


  • Andrew Sharpe


  • Brendon Andrews


The Index of Economic Well-Being (IEWB) – a composite indicator consisting of consumption, wealth, equality, and economic security – underwent several changes in the weighting of its components. For example, the final aggregation of the IEWB was changed to equal weighting after the IEWB was criticized for having a bias against sustainability; however, all weighting schemes have both advantages and shortcomings. To isolate the preferred ordinal ranking for the results, strong and weak dominance rules were established for countries across several observed weighting schemes, and each of these rules were ranked in all possible ways. An 'iterative dominance equilibrium' was computed for comparison to observed weighting schemes. Constrained data envelopment analysis (CDEA) performed best, yet CDEA is not ideal for comparisons across countries. Among explicit weights, the original weights of the IEWB were best. Although the original weights are supported, they were controversial – a shift to equal weights mitigated this controversial – it appears equal weights remain least objectionable.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Sharpe & Brendon Andrews, 2012. "An Assessment of Weighting Methodologies for Composite Indicators: The case of the Index of Economic Well-being," CSLS Research Reports 2012-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:1210

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    Cited by:

    1. Akin, Tarik & Iqbal, Zamir & Mirakhor, Abbas, 2016. "The composite risk-sharing finance index: Implications for Islamic finance," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 18-25.
    2. Piotr Białowolski, 2015. "Concepts of Confidence in Tendency Survey Research: An Assessment with Multi-group Confirmatory Factor Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 281-302, August.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1438-7 is not listed on IDEAS

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