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Scientific article
Open access
English

OECD's "Better Life Index": can any country be well ranked?

Published inJournal of applied statistics, vol. 39, no. 10, p. 2223-2230
Publication date2012
Abstract

We critically review the Better Life Index (BLI) recently introduced by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We discuss methodological issues in the definition of the criteria used to rank the countries, as well as in their aggregation method. Moreover, we explore the unique option offered by the BLI to apply one's own weight set to 11 criteria. Although 16 countries can be ranked first by choosing ad hoc weightings, only Canada, Australia and Sweden do so over a substantial fraction of the parameter space defined by all possible weight sets. Furthermore, most pairwise comparisons between countries are insensitive to the choice of the weights. Therefore, the BLI establishes a hierarchy among the evaluated countries, independent of the chosen set of weights.

Keywords
  • Well-being
  • Aggregation
  • Ranking
  • Scoring
  • Parameter space
Citation (ISO format)
KASPARIAN, Jérôme, ROLLAND, Antoine. OECD’s ‘Better Life Index’: can any country be well ranked? In: Journal of applied statistics, 2012, vol. 39, n° 10, p. 2223–2230. doi: 10.1080/02664763.2012.706265
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Article (Accepted version)
accessLevelPublic
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0266-4763
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