Eliciting Values to Build a Multidimensional Index: Women's Empowerment in Tunisia

How can empirical researchers elicit individuals’ values or preferences over a multidimensional space of alternatives? Existing approaches are not well-suited to high-dimensional spaces or implementation in a low-literacy developing country context. I propose an innovative design for a discrete choice experiment that addresses these issues, imposing a low cognitive demand on respondents and feasible for implementation in a quantitative field survey. It was implemented to elicit perceptions of empowerment among women in Tunisia. Estimation of a parametric model generates weights for an index of Women’s Empowerment that reflects the perceptions and values of the survey respondents. The conventional assumption of equal weights is decisively rejected.