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Measuring well-being in Colombian departments. The role of geography and demography

Jesús Peiró-Palomino, Andres Picazo-Tadeo and Emili Tortosa-Ausina

Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 2021, vol. 78, issue C

Abstract: This paper provides a composite indicator of well-being for the 33 Colombian departments in the year 2016. The indicator is built by adapting the well-known OECD Better Life Index to the regional level, and includes the dimensions of income, health, education, safety, housing, environment, labour market, and civic engagement and governance. As to the methodology, Data Envelopment Analysis and Multi-Criteria Decision-Making techniques are employed, an approach which enables a comparison of well-being across departments and the construction of rankings. The results yield several take-away messages. First, there are substantial disparities in well-being across Colombian departments. Second, despite the fact that average well-being in Colombia is relatively low, the population is concentrated in the departments with the highest well-being levels. Third, geography matters, as neighbouring departments have similar well-being levels, giving rise to a core-periphery duality. Fourth, well-being generally improves and disparities decline when purely economic dimensions (income and labour market) are excluded from the composite indicator.

Keywords: Colombia; Composite indicators; Departments; Well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C16 O18 O47 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2021.101072

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