Composite indices, alternative weights, and comparison robustness

Seth, Suman and McGillivray, Mark 2018, Composite indices, alternative weights, and comparison robustness, Social choice and welfare, pp. 1-23, doi: 10.1007/s00355-018-1132-6.

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Title Composite indices, alternative weights, and comparison robustness
Author(s) Seth, Suman
McGillivray, MarkORCID iD for McGillivray, Mark
Journal name Social choice and welfare
Start page 1
End page 23
Total pages 23
Publisher Springer
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2018-06-05
ISSN 0176-1714
Keyword(s) Composite Indices
Rank Robustness Tests
Inter-Temporal Comparisons
Human Development Index
Summary © 2018 The Author(s) Composite indices are widely used in development economics and can often be highly influential. Yet most remain controversial owing to inter alia the arbitrary selection of component weights. Several studies have proposed testing the robustness of rankings generated by composite indices with respect to alternative weights but have not provided sufficient guidance on the choice of these alternatives. This paper proposes a holistic yet theoretically novel approach for selecting sets of alternative weights and assessing comparison robustness that is applicable to linear composite indices with any finite number of dimensions. Our approach is founded on the main normative assumption that a consensus has been reached on the minimum and the maximum allowable weights that should be assigned to the components. This approach is applied to robustness testing of inter-temporal country improvements generated by arguably the world’s most influential composite development index, the UNDP Human Development Index.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00355-018-1132-6
Field of Research 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
169999 Studies In Human Society not elsewhere classified
019999 Mathematical Sciences not elsewhere classified
14 Economics
16 Studies In Human Society
01 Mathematical Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
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