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Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index

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  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

The 20th Human Development Report introduced a new version of its famous Human Development Index (HDI), which aggregates country-level attainments in life expectancy, schooling and income. The main change was to relax the past assumption of perfect substitutability between its components. Most users will not, however, realize that the new HDI has also greatly reduced its implicit weight on longevity in poor countries, relative to rich ones. By contrast, the new HDI's valuations of extra schooling are now very high—many times the economic returns. An alternative index is proposed that embodies less troubling tradeoffs while still allowing imperfect substitution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 99 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 201-209

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:2:p:201-209

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: Human development; Life expectancy; Schooling; Income;

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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 2010. "Price levels and economic growth : making sense of the PPP changes between ICP rounds," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5229, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Athanassoglou, Stergios, 2013. "Multidimensional welfare rankings," MPRA Paper 51642, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2011. "Human development in Africa : a long-run perspective," Working Papers in Economic History wp11-09, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  3. Stephen Morse, 2013. "Bottom Rail on Top: The Shifting Sands of Sustainable Development Indicators as Tools to Assess Progress," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(6), pages 2421-2441, May.
  4. Partha Dasgupta, 2013. "The Nature of Economic Development and the Economic Development of Nature," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1349, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Jamshed Y. Uppal & Syeda Rabab Mudakkar, 2013. "Human Development and Economic Uncertainties: Exploring Another Dimension of Development," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 18(Special E), pages 305-334, September.

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