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An Economic Vulnerability Index: Its Design and Use for International Development Policy

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  • Patrick Guillaumont

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

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    Abstract

    In response to the need expressed by the UN General Assembly, an economic vulnerability index (EVI) has been defined by the Committee for Development Policy. The present paper, which refers to this index, first examines how a structural economic vulnerability index can be designed for the low-income countries in particular. It recalls the conceptual and empirical grounds of the index, considers the structure of the present EVI, its sensitivity to methodological choices with respect to averaging, as well as related possible improvements, and briefly compares the levels and trends of EVI in various country groups, using a new database from a ‘retrospective EVI'. The paper examines how EVI can be used for international development policy, underlining two main purposes: first—the purpose for which EVI was initially designed—is the identification of the least developed countries (LDCs) that are allowed to receive some preferential treatment in aid and trade matters. EVI, in addition to income per capita and human capital, is one of the three complementary criteria a country needs to meet in order to be perceived as a LDC, and consequently it cannot be the sole criterion for countries wishing to avoid exiting the LDC list. And second, EVI is to be used, in addition to other traditional measures, as a criterion for aid allocation between developing countries. We argue that such an inclusion is legitimate for both reasons of effectiveness and equity. The two purposes are presented as complementary.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00554328.

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    Date of creation: 10 Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00554328

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    Related research

    Keywords: vulnerability; aid allocation; human capital; least development countries;

    References

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    1. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Jean-François BRUN & Jaime MELO DE, 1998. "La distance abolie ? Critères et mesure de la mondialisation du commerce extérieur," Working Papers 199830, CERDI.
    2. Jean - Louis Arcand, 2000. "Ethnicity Communication and Growth," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-20, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney & Kangni Kpodar, 2005. "Financial Development, Financial Instability and Poverty," CSAE Working Paper Series 2005-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Jean-François Brun & Céline Carrère & Patrick Guillaumont & Jaime de Melo, 2005. "Has Distance Died? Evidence from a Panel Gravity Model," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 99-120.
    5. Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena, 1991. "Export Instability and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(4), pages 815-28, July.
    6. Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN & Jean-Louis COMBES & Pascale COMBES MOTEL, 1999. "The Economic Consequences of Export Instability in Developing Countries: A Survey," Working Papers 199926, CERDI.
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