Data-driven weights and restrictions in the construction of composite indicators
AbstractComposite indicators are increasingly recognized as a useful tool in policy analysis and public communication. However, if poorly constructed, they can send misleading policy messages. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of constructing a composite
indicator is choosing weights for the components. The categorization of Croatian territorial units for development policy is based on the value of the composite indicator
called the development index. The main goal of this paper is to propose an empirical approach for weight selection. In order to generate the set of non-subjective weights, principal component analysis and linear programming methods have been applied. An application of data envelopment analysis to the field of composite indicators, known as the Benefit-of-the-Doubt approach, has been demonstrated subject to proportional subindicator share restrictions. Additionally, the Monte Carlo simulation of weights was conducted, and confidence intervals for the values of the development index were estimated. Owing to the fact that the examined weighting schemes have resulted in the different categorization of territorial units, use of unit-specific weights and incorporating uncertainty in the construction of a composite indicator looks promising for further
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