Social Indicators Research

, Volume 127, Issue 3, pp 983–1003 | Cite as

On a Generalized Non-compensatory Composite Index for Measuring Socio-economic Phenomena

  • Matteo Mazziotta
  • Adriano Pareto


Composite indices for measuring multidimensional phenomena have become very popular in a variety of economic, social and policy domains. The literature offers a wide range of aggregation methods, all with their pros and cons. The most used are additive methods, but they imply requirements and properties which are often not desirable or difficult to meet. For example, they assume a full substitutability among the components of the index: a deficit in one dimension can be compensated by a surplus in another. In this paper, we consider a non-compensatory composite index for spatial comparisons and its variant for spatio-temporal comparisons. A study of the aggregation function is, for the first time, presented and its main properties are formally defined. As an example of application, a set of individual indicators of well-being for OECD countries is considered and a comparison between the two approaches is provided, in order to show what they offer and how they work.


Data aggregation Ranking Non-substitutability Penalty Coefficient of variation 



The paper is the result of the common work of the authors: in particular M. Mazziotta has written Sects. 1, 3.1, 3.2, 5 and A. Pareto has written Sects. 2, 3.3, 3.4 and 4.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Italian National Institute of StatisticsRomeItaly

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