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Improving Human Development: A Long-run View

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  • de la Escosura, Leandro Prados

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 UNDP’s HDI for the world and its main regions since the late nineteenth century. Social dimensions in the IHDI are derived, following Kakwani (1993), with a convex achievement function, while 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 fits with the UNDP concern for international differences. The paper’s findings highlight main weaknesses in human development dimensions of present-day developing countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7982.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7982

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Keywords: Education; Human Development; Life Expectancy; Per Capita GDP;

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References

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Blog mentions

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  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. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2013. "Human development in Africa: A long-run perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-204.
  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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