Benchmarking Sustainable Development: A Synthetic Meta-index Approach
The need for monitoring countries’ overall performance in Sustainable Development (SD) is widely recognized, but the methods for aggregating vast amounts of empirical data remain rather crude. This paper examines the so-called ‘benefit-of-the-doubt’ weighting method as a tool for identifying benchmarks without imposing strong normative judgement about SD priorities. The weighting method involves linear optimization techniques, and allows countries to emphasize and prioritize those SD aspects for which they perform relatively well. Using this method, we construct a meta-index of SD (MISD), which combines 14 existing aggregate SD indices (developed by well-established organizations and/or expert teams) into a single synthesizing overall SD index. Within a sample of 154 countries, our index identifies 6 benchmark countries (3 high-income countries and 3 upper-middle-income countries), but also a number of seriously under-performing countries. We view this approach as a first step towards more systematic international comparisons, aimed at facilitating diffusion of the best practices and policies from the benchmark countries to the less developed world.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
- Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
- Laurens Cherchye, 2001. "Using data envelopment analysis to assess macroeconomic policy performance," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 407-416.
- Gerlagh, Reyer & Dellink, Rob & Hofkes, Marjan & Verbruggen, Harmen, 2002. "A measure of sustainable national income for the Netherlands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 157-174, April.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1971.
"Is Growth Obsolete?,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
319, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 5, Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Munasinghe, M., 1993. "Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development," Papers 3, World Bank - The World Bank Environment Paper.
- Carrington, Roger & Coelli, Tim & Groom, Eric, 2002. "International Benchmarking for Monopoly Price Regulation: The Case of Australian Gas Distribution," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 191-216, March.
- Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
- Osman Zaim & Rolf Färe & Shawna Grosskopf, 2001. "An Economic Approach to Achievement and Improvement Indexes," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 91-118, October.
- M. Qizilbash, 2001. "Sustainable Development: Concepts and Rankings," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 134-161.
- Timo Kuosmanen, 2002. "Modeling Blank Data Entries in Data Envelopment Analysis," Econometrics 0210001, EconWPA.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0210001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.