The Derivation of Cardinal Scales from Ordinal Data: An Application of Multidimensional Scaling to Measure Levels of National Development

  • Irma Adelman
  • Cynthia Taft Morris


The construction of quantitative measures of national capacity to develop along a broad front is desirable to facilitate investigation of the interactions involved in the development process and to improve the design of development strategies. Broad measures of development capacity provide a better focus than do narrow ones for systematic study of the empirical regularities characterising economic growth and furnish an improved basis for the formulation of comprehensive theories identifying critical interdependencies among economic, social, and political aspects of development. They also facilitate integrated approaches to development planning by making possible quantitative evaluation of the joint impact of social and political as well as economic influences on development.


Multidimensional Scaling Socioeconomic Development Ordinal Data Underdeveloped Country Cardinal Measure 
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© Irma Adelman and Cynthia Taft Morris 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irma Adelman
  • Cynthia Taft Morris

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