Focussing on the Extremes of Good and Bad: Media Reporting of Countries Ranked Via Index-Based League Tables
Stephen Morse ()
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Stephen Morse: University of Surrey
Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2018, vol. 139, issue 2, No 11, 652 pages
Abstract The paper provides the first published evidence for a ‘U’ shaped relationship between country ‘league-table’ ranking based on the Human Development Index and Corruption Perception Index and media reporting. The results suggest that the Extremity Hypothesis proposed by Heath (Glob Environ Change 21(1): 198–208, 1996) applies to such data rather than the alternative of the Centrality Hypothesis. In the Extremity Hypothesis people are more likely to transmit information regarding extremes, perhaps because people value ‘surprisingness’ or think that others do so, and the inevitable polarity of league-tables would appear to invite greater attention on those countries that rank high and low. This is an important finding as it suggests that countries at these extremes could act as exemplars. However, this is not to say that at more regional scales the media may pick-up on differences between ‘peer group’ countries ranked towards the middle of the league-table. Much more attention needs to be given by researchers to the use of indicators and indices and what helps to influence this, especially as it would help inform further development of existing indicators/indices and the creation of new ones.
Keywords: Human Development Index; Corruption Perception Index; League tables; Media reporting; Extremity hypothesis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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