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Classification, Detection and Consequences of Data Error: Evidence from the Human Development Index

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  • Hendrik Wolff
  • Howard Chong
  • Maximilian Auffhammer

Abstract

We measure and examine data error in health, education and income statistics used to construct the Human Development Index. We identify three sources of data error which are due to (i) data updating, (ii) formula revisions and (iii) thresholds to classify a country’s development status. We propose a simple statistical framework to calculate country specific measures of data uncertainty and investigate how data error biases rank assignments. We find that up to 34% of countries are misclassified and, by replicating prior studies, we show that key estimated parameters vary by up to 100% due to data error.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 121 (2011)
Issue (Month): 553 (06)
Pages: 843-870

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:553:p:843-870

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  1. MORENO-TERNERO, Juan D. & ROEMER, John E., 2005. "Impartiality, priority, and solidarity in the theory of justice," CORE Discussion Papers 2005077, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2000. "Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Alfredo Marvão Pereira & Jorge M. Andraz, 2013. "On the economic effects of public infrastructure investment:A survey of the international evidence," Working Papers 108, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  2. Leo Dobes, 2012. "Adaptation to Climate Change: Formulating Policy under Uncertainty," CCEP Working Papers 1201, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  3. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: New Controversies, Old Critiques," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  4. Paulo Ferreira & Andreia Dionísio, 2012. "An application of General Maximum Entropy to Utility," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_18, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  5. Jorge Casas Novas & António Sousa & Maria do Céu Alves, 2012. "On the Relations Between Management Accounting Systems and Intellectual Capital. Evidence for Portuguese Companies," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_13, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  6. Rita Silva & Alexandra Ferreira Lopes, 2012. "A Regional Human Development Index for Portugal," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_05, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  7. Paulo R. Silva & Elisabete G.S. Félix, 2012. "Challenges of the Information Economy: Asymmetry of Information in the Information Society," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_15, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  8. Rui Fragoso & Vladimir Bushenkov & Carlos Marques, 2012. "Integrated Water Management Using Feasible Goals Method and Interactive Decision Maps: The Case of Odivelas Irrigation," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_07, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  9. Jorge Andraz & Nélia Norte, 2012. "Structural Breaks and Volatility of Gross Domestic Product: Evidence for Portugal," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_09, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  10. Ravallion, Martin, 2010. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5484, The World Bank.
  11. Luisa Montuschi, 2013. "Progreso social, crecimiento y bienestar," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 533, Universidad del CEMA.
  12. M.ª Maurícia Rosado & Carlos Marques & Rui Fragoso, 2012. "Environmental Evaluation and Benchmarking of Traditional Mediterranean Crop Farming System of Dryland Agriculture in the Alentejo Region of Portugal," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_14, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  13. 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.
  14. Soumodip Sarkar, 2012. "Message in a bottle: process innovations in the cork stopper fightback," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_12, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).

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