A Scale for Markets and Property in the Societies of the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample: a Linear Programming Approach.
Cross-cultural researchers often combine several component variables into a composite index or “scale.” The value of a scale for a particular observation is sensitive not only to the values of its component variables, but also to the values of the weights used to combine the components. This sensitivity to weight values is unfortunate, given that the choice of weighting scheme is in some ways arbitrary. A method is presented here, based on linear programming, which reduces the sensitivity of a scale to the component weights. An example scale is produced, for the prevalence of markets and property rights in the societies of the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. A program, written for GAMS, is included.