The Significance of Factors Determining the Regional Development of Selected European Union Countries
Purpose: The choice of a specific weighting system for diagnostic variables can significantly influence the final research results in multivariate comparative analysis methods examining regional development. This article aims to investigate whether the commonly assumed premise of equal importance for the selected diagnostic variables is an appropriate approach in such research. Design/Methodology/Approach: The determination of the significance of selected 11 variables describing regional development relied on a method using the entropy of diagnostic variables. The research encompassed 167 regions across 9 European Union countries. Findings: Apart from the conceptually justified selection of variables characterizing regional development, determining the significance of individual indicators, i.e., assigning specific weights to them, is crucial in such studies. It is often suggested in literature that in the absence of clear indications regarding the differentiated importance and role of specific characteristics, an implicit assumption of equal weights for all selected diagnostic variables should be adopted. However, this approach introduces hidden weights and neglects the object's structure, data quality, etc. Practical Implications: Accurately determining the weight values that describe the significance of individual variables in regional development can guide preferred areas for implementing specific investment projects from a regional development perspective. Originality/Value: This article explores the potential of using entropy-based methods for weighting the significance of factors determining regional development. The issue of weighting diagnostic variables in regional development is only sparingly discussed in literature.