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Quantitative Storytelling in the Making of a Composite Indicator

Marta Kuc-Czarnecka (), Samuele Lo Piano () and Andrea Saltelli ()
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Marta Kuc-Czarnecka: Gdansk University of Technology
Samuele Lo Piano: University of Reading
Andrea Saltelli: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2020, vol. 149, issue 3, No 2, 775-802

Abstract: Abstract The reasons for and against composite indicators are briefly reviewed, as well as the available theories for their construction. After noting the strong normative dimension of these measures—which ultimately aim to ‘tell a story’, e.g. to promote the social discovery of a particular phenomenon, we inquire whether a less partisan use of a composite indicator can be proposed by allowing more latitude in the framing of its construction. We thus explore whether a composite indicator can be built to tell ‘more than one story’ and test this in practical contexts. These include measures used in convergence analysis in the field of cohesion policies and a recent case involving the World Bank’s Doing Business Index. Our experiments are built to imagine different constituencies and stakeholders who agree on the use of evidence and of statistical information while differing on the interpretation of what is relevant and vital.

Keywords: Composite indicator; International comparison; Quantitative storytelling; Social convergence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C43 C38 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11205-020-02276-0

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