Socio-economic evaluation with ordinal variables: integrating counting and poset approaches
The evaluation of material deprivation, quality of life and well-being very often requires to deal with multidimensional systems of ordinal variables, rather than with classical numerical datasets. This poses new statistical and methodological challenges, since classical evaluation tools are not designed to deal with this kind of data. The mainstream evaluation methodologies generally follow a counting approach, as in a recent proposal by Alkire and Foster pertaining to the evaluation of
multidimensional poverty. Counting procedures are inspired by the composite indicator approach
and share similar drawbacks with it, computing aggregated indicators that may be poorly reliable.
A recent and alternative proposal is to address the ordinal evaluation problem through partial order
theory which provides tools that prove more consistent with the discrete nature of the data. The
goal of the present paper is thus to introduce the two proposals, showing how the evaluation methodology based on partial order theory can be integrated in the counting approach of Alkire and Foster.
Keywords: Partial Order theory, Counting Approach, Evaluation, Material Deprivation, Quality of