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Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View

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  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura

Abstract

The pessimistic flavour of the Human Development Reports appears to be in contradiction with their own numbers as developing countries fare comparatively better in human development than in per capita GDP terms. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by providing a new, 'improved' human development index (IHDI), informed by welfare economics. The IHDI is presented here alongside the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) HDI for the world and its main regions since the late 19th century. Social dimensions in the IHDI are derived, following Kakwani ( Journal of Development Economics 41 (1993), pp. 307-336), with a convex achievement function, whereas a geometric average is employed to combine its dimensions (longevity, knowledge and income). Thus, the IHDI does not conceal the gap between rich and poor countries and casts a much less optimistic view than the conventional UNDP index, while it fits with the UNDP concern for international differences. The paper's findings highlight main weaknesses in human development dimensions of present-day developing countries. Copyright � 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 841-894

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:5:p:841-894

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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Sostenibilidad del desarrollo: hacia una contabilidad histórica del ahorro genuino
    by juanhmex in Pasado y Presente de la Economia Mundial on 2013-02-27 10:19:04
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Cited by:
  1. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2011. "Human Development in Africa: A Long-Run Perspective," Working Papers 0008, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  2. Sevinc Rende & Murat Donduran, 2013. "Neighborhoods in Development: Human Development Index and Self-organizing Maps," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 721-734, January.
  3. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)," UHE Working papers 2012_10, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.

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