Social Indicators Research

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 19–45 | Cite as

An Unbalance Adjustment Method for Development Indicators

  • Enrico Casadio Tarabusi
  • Giulio Guarini


This paper analyzes some aggregation aspects of the procedure for constructing a composite index on a multidimensional socio-economic phenomenon such as development, the main focus being on the unbalance among individual dimensions. First a theoretical framework is set up for the unbalance adjustment of the index. Then an aggregation function is proposed that takes unbalance among development dimensions into account; a separate index is also introduced that measures the unbalance itself. Finally the dataset of the Index of African Governance for the year 2007 is used to test this method and compare it against the weighted arithmetic mean of variables with relation to the measured values of unbalance, yielding significantly different results for ratings and rankings, which in addition show negative correlations with the unbalance adjustment values. The changes ensuing from the adjustment are commented for some countries.


Development Rating Composite indicator Aggregation method Across-variables unbalance Across-variables compensability Index of African Governance 

JEL Classification

O15 C43 



The authors wish to thank Marcella Corsi, Marco Marini and Paolo Palazzi for their useful comments. Research partially supported by the Ateneo della Scienza e della Tecnologia 2007 project Sviluppo economico e sviluppo civile secondo l'approccio di Paolo Sylos Labini, coordinated by Marcella Corsi.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Matematica “G. Castelnuovo”Sapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento per lo Sviluppo e la Coesione EconomicaMinistero dello Sviluppo EconomicoRomeItaly

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