Use and Misuse of PCA for Measuring Well-Being
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The measurement of well-being of people is very difficult because it is characterized by a multiplicity of aspects or dimensions. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) is probably the most popular multivariate statistical technique for reducing data with many dimensions and, often, well-being indicators are reduced to a single index of well-being by using PCA. However, PCA is implicitly based on a reflective measurement model that is not suitable for all types of indicators. In this paper, we discuss the use and misuse of PCA for measuring well-being, and we show some applications to real data.
KeywordsData reduction Composite indicator Measurement model Well-being
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