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Measuring rank mobility with variable population size


We provide a characterization of a class of rank-mobility measures. These measures generalize the Kemeny measure that is well-known from the literature on measuring the distance between orderings. We use replication invariance to ensure that our measures are applicable in variable-population settings. The rank-based approach to mobility has a natural connection with the study of social status. Rank-based measures are widely applied in empirical research but their theoretical foundation is still in need of further investigation, and we consider our approach to be a contribution towards this objective. Journal of Economic Literature Classification No.: D63.

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Author information

Correspondence to Conchita D’Ambrosio.

Additional information

We thank Bhaskar Dutta, an associate editor and two referees for their comments. Financial support from the Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture of Québec, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) under the grants: (1) Open Competitie (OC: 400-09-354) and (2) Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (VENI 2013: 451-13-017), and the Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg is gratefully acknowledged.

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Bossert, W., Can, B. & D’Ambrosio, C. Measuring rank mobility with variable population size. Soc Choice Welf 46, 917–931 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00355-015-0942-z

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  • Short Path
  • Triangle Inequality
  • Relative Rank
  • Mobility Measure
  • Elementary Change