1. The Measurement of Ordinal and Multidimensional Inequalities

The Measurement of Ordinal and Multidimensional Inequalities

The Human Development Index (HDI) and the Better Life Index (BLI) are the best known multidimensional measures of well-being.

A weakness of the HDI lies in the arbitrary procedure used to aggregate the components of a person’s well-being. Alternatively, the BLI allows the end-user to weight the different dimensions in accordance with her preferences.

Unfortunately, these approaches failed to derive measures based on transparent judgements, unanimously accepted by the society.

Our objective is to investigate the different dimensions of well-being measurement that the standard approach failed to appraise, and to provide new consistent and empirically implementable measures.
We propose to construct measures of socio-economic performance and well-being that (i) acknowledge the multidimensional nature of well-being, (ii) pay due attention to the distribution and interaction between the attributes, and (iii) take full account of the measurability nature of the attributes.

Our project is structured around 4 specific tasks:
T1 : Inequalities in Health Achievements.
T2 : Inequalities in Educational Performance.
T3 : Intergenerational Mobility and Inequality
T4 : Multidimensional Measures of Social Performance

Axiomatic approach, statistical inference and experimental studies
Our research methodology is based on the following requirements:

  • Provide a coherent and unified framework within which the different topics addressed in the project can be casted.
  • Make clear the value judgements used when deriving individual well-being and computing social performance.
  • Confront these value judgements with the public's perceptions.
  • Provide empirically implementable criteria.
  • Illustrate the value added of our approach by using available and appropriate databases.
  • Provide statistical inference tests.


  • AMSE Aix Marseille School of economics
  • CEE-M Centre d’Economie de l’Environnement de Montpellier
  • CREM Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management
  • GREThA Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée

ANR grant: 299 786 euros
Beginning and duration: october 2016 - 48 mois
ANR Programme: (DS0802) 2016

Project ID: ANR-16-CE41-0005

  • Project coordinator: Patrick MOYES (Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée)
  • Correspondant CREM: Olivier L'Haridon