CARDINAL: A measurement based on a scale or quantitative numbers, such as 1, 5, or 357.2, that enables a comparison in magnitude. Comparability means, for example, that the difference between 5 and 2 is the same as the difference between 12 and 9. Measures such as height and weight use cardinal numbers. Most economic measures are based on cardinal numbers, including gross domestic product, unemployment rate, the price of chocolate, and the quantity of wheat produced. The benefit of cardinal measurement is the ability to directly compare one measure with another. If, for example, the price of chocolate is $1 a pound and the price of wheat is $4 a pound, then wheat is four times more expensive than chocolate. Ordinal measures, which involve relative ranking, is an alternative type of measure.
See also | cardinal utility | ordinal | ordinal utility | utility | satisfaction | indifference curve | quality of life |
CARDINAL, AmosWEB GLOSS*arama, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: December 13, 2018].
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