The Deceptive Business of City Rankings
The study, titled Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: A Critical Examination of City Ranking Studies breaks down the types of "best cities" reports into those based on economic success, ranking livability, and those on the cost of doing business:
"The business cost- and livability-oriented reports are commercial products sold by consulting firms to other corporations on a for-profit basis," writes Taylor in the report.
"These reports have a narrow purpose -- to help multinationals determine hardship allowances for expatriate executives. Unfortunately, these studies are often misrepresented in the media. For example, focusing on well-off expatriates' experience of local residents, yet such rankings are often taken as general indicators of a city's economic performance or livability."