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A Perceived Human Development Index

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  • Neri, Marcelo Cortes

Abstract

The objective of the paper is to build a Perceived Human Development Index (PHDI) framework by assembling the HDI components, namely indicators on income, health and education on their subjective version. We propose here to introduce a fourth dimension linked to perceptions on work conditions, given its role in the “happiness” literature and in social policy making. We study how perceptions on satisfaction about the individual’s satisfaction with income, education, work and health are related to their objective counterparts. We use a sample of LAC countries where we take advantage of a larger set of questions on the four groups of social variables mentioned included in the Gallup World Poll by the IADB. We emphasize the impacts of objective income and age on perceptions. Complementarily, in the appendix we use the full sample of 132 countries where a smaller set of variables can be included, which provides a greater degree of freedom to study the impact of objective HDI components observed at country level on the formation of individual’s perception on income, education, work, health and life satisfaction. These exercises provide useful insights about the workings of beneficiaries’ point of view to understand the transmission mechanism of key social policy ingredients into perceptions. In particular, the so-called PHDI may provide a complementary subjective reference to the HDI. We also study how one’s satisfaction with life is established, measuring the relative importance given to income vis-à-vis health and education. Estimating these “instantaneous happiness functions” will help to assess the relative weights attributed to income, health and education in the HDI, which is a benchmark in the multidimensional social indicators toolbox used in practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 687.

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Date of creation: 29 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:687

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  1. repec:nbr:nberwo:13317 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Feld, Lars P. & Necker, Sarah & Frey, Bruno S., 2013. "Happiness of economists," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 13/7, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  4. Mariano Rojas, 2005. "A Conceptual-Referent Theory of Happiness: Heterogeneity and its Consequences," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 261-294, November.
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