, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 339–367 | Cite as

A rank order and efficiency evaluation of the EU regions in a social framework

Original Paper


In this paper, methods of multi-criteria efficiency evaluation are implemented for ranking the socio-economic systems of the EU regions. The socio-economic rank order problem is a multi-criteria non-convex optimization problem that was solved by the implementation of a new efficiency evaluation, AOWI (Absolute Optimal Weights Index). The rank order of the 268 NUTS-2 regions from the 27 European Union countries in the social framework obtained on the basis of 16 socio-economical indicators illustrates social divergence within the European Union and in the new European Union regions.


Regional economics Non-parametric benchmarking Efficiency evaluation Welfare measure Index numbers and aggregation 

JEL Classification

C61 I38 R15 



I would like to thank the participants of the Applied Research Seminar at IHS and two anonymous referees for their valuable and helpful comments as well as the Austrian National Bank for financial support and Prof. Robert Kunst for his attention during the preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Advanced StudiesViennaAustria

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