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Stochastic Multiattribute Acceptability Analysis: an application to the ranking of Italian regions

Greco, Salvatore and Ishizaka, Alessio and Matarazzo, Benedetto and Torrisi, Gianpiero (2015): Stochastic Multiattribute Acceptability Analysis: an application to the ranking of Italian regions.

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Abstract

We consider the issue of ranking regions with respect to a range of economic and social variables. Departing from the current practice of aggregating different dimensions via an arithmetic mean, we instead use Stochastic Multiattribute Acceptability Analysis (SMAA). SMAA takes account of the “whole space” of weights for the considered dimensions. Thus, rather than considering an average person giving equal or fixed weights to all dimensions, SMAA explores how potential differences in individual preferences affect the outcome. In this sense, in contrast to the purported objectivity of the many rankings supplied by economic institutions and mass media, this proposal enhances, simplifies and renders transparent the ranking exercise. The methodology is applied to the ranking of Italian regions, unveiling patterns of similarity and dissimilarity even within the same broad regional economy. Many of these findings are neglected within the extant literature addressing the “Mezzogiorno” problem.

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