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A Human Development Index at the Household Level

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Author Info

  • Kenneth Harttgen

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Stephan Klasen

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

Abstract

One of the most serious weaknesses of the human development index (HDI) is does not take into account the distribution of human development within a country. All previous attempts to capture inequality in the HDI have also used aggregate information and there exists no HDI at the household level. We provide a method for proxying the HDI at the household level. This allows the analysis of the HDI by any kind of population subgroups and by household socioeconomic characteristics as well as to apply any kind of inequality measure across population subgroups and over time. We illustrate our approach for 15 developing countries. Inequality in the HDI is stunningly large for some countries, driven mostly by very high inequality in the education and income components of the HDI. The inequality in human development is larger than previously reported which is largely due to the new procedures for calculating the HDI used in the 2010 Human Development Report. Inequality in the HDI is largest in poorer countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 75.

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Date of creation: 17 Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:075

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Related research

Keywords: Human Development Index; Income Inequality; Differential Mortality; Inequality in Education;

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References

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  1. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Valenzuela, Rebecca & Rao, D S Prasada, 1997. "Global and Regional Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Estimation with Limited and Incomplete Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 533-46.
  2. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 476-487, August.
  3. Alkire, Sabina & Santos, María Emma, 2011. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 3, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  4. Bicego, George & Rutstein, Shea & Johnson, Kiersten, 2003. "Dimensions of the emerging orphan crisis in sub-Saharan Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1235-1247, March.
  5. Filmer, Deon & Scott, Kinnon, 2008. "Assessing asset indices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4605, The World Bank.
  6. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
  7. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  8. James Foster & Luis Lopez-Calva & Miguel Szekely, 2005. "Measuring the Distribution of Human Development: methodology and an application to Mexico," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25.
  9. François Bourguignon, 2002. "The growth elasticity of poverty reduction : explaining heterogeneity across countries and time periods," DELTA Working Papers 2002-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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Cited by:
  1. Gruen, Carola & Klasen, Stephan, 2012. "Has transition improved well-being?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 11-30.

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