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Abstract

Policy makers dealing with composite indicators are often confronted with the issues of the robustness of composite indicators and of the reliability of the concluded policy messages. This report provides a review of both methodological aspects and practical test cases of composite indicators. Several methods are investigated such as aggregation systems, multiple linear regression models, principal components analysis and factor analysis, cronbach alpha, neutralization of correlation effect, efficiency frontier, distance to targets, experts' opinion (budget allocation), public opinion, and Analytic Hierarchy Process. The report presents twenty-four published studies on composite indicators in a number of fields such as environment, economy, research, technology and health. A common problem encountered when constructing composite indicators is the plurality of perspectives on the relative importance of the sub-indicators (variables) and its influence on the outcomes of the composite indicator. To this end, a number of statistical tests have been framed. We propose the use of uncertainty analysis (UA) and sensitivity analysis (SA) to gain useful insights during the process of composite indicators building, as well as in the assessment of their quality, their transparency and their suitability to defend policy messages.

Additional information

Authors: SAISANA M, European Commission, Joint Research Council, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT);TARANTOLA S, European Commission, Joint Research Council, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT);SALTELLI A, European Commission, Joint Research Council, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20682 EN (2003), 32pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail: jrc-publications-office@ec.europa.eu
Record Number: 200316480 / Last updated on: 2003-07-16
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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