The Tyranny of International Index Rankings

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Høyland, Bjørn; Karl Ove Moene & Fredrik Willumsen (2012) The Tyranny of International Index Rankings, Journal of Development Economics 97(1): 1–31.

International index rankings are popular, but perhaps too persuasive. They emphasize country differences where similarity is the dominant feature. Rankings based on Doing Business, the Human Development Index and Freedom House can be misleading, not because of wrong indicators, but because the estimation of the scores ignores inherent uncertainty. Re-estimated with a method that captures this uncertainty, it becomes clear that ranking every adjacent country is a rather courageous activity.

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Authors

Bjørn Høyland

Bjørn Høyland

Associate Research Professor PRIO, University of Oslo

Fredrik Willumsen

Fredrik Willumsen

Research Assistant

Karl Ove Moene

Karl Ove Moene

Working Group Leader: Conflict and Economic Performance. Professor of Economics, University of Oslo