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The HDI 2010: New Controversies, Old Critiques

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Author Info

  • Jeni Klugman

    ()
    (Human Development Report Office, UNDP)

  • Francisco Rodríguez

    ()
    (Human Development Report Office, UNDP)

  • Hyung-Jin Choi

    ()
    (Human Development Report Office, UNDP)

Abstract

Since its introduction in the first Human Development Report in 1990, the Human Development Index (HDI) has attracted great interest in policy and academic circles, as well as in the media and national audiences around the world. Its popularity can be attributed to the simplicity of its characterization of development - an average of achievements in health, education and income – and to its underlying message that development is much more than economic growth. Yet the HDI’s very simplicity prompted critiques from the start, with some contending that it was too simplistic, while others who accepted its self-imposed limitations still questioned its choice of indicators and its computational methodology. In 2010, for the twentieth anniversary edition, the Human Development Report undertook a comprehensive review of these critiques and introduced several major changes to the HDI. This article is a detailed review of key critiques of the HDI, today and in the past, and explains the recent changes introduced to the HDI formula and indicators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its series Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) with number HDRP-2011-01.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as background research for the 2011 Human Development Report.
Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2011-01

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Keywords: Human Development Index; Human Development Report; capabilities; measurement; substitutability; country classifications;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 201-209.
  3. Edson Tandoc & Bruno Takahashi, 2013. "The Complex Road to Happiness: The Influence of Human Development, a Healthy Environment and a Free Press," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 537-550, August.
  4. Wail BENAABDELAALI & Zouhair BENNAGHMOUCH & Sanaa CHEDDADI & Abdelhak KAMAL, 2013. "Disparites Regionales De Developpement Humain Au Maroc," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 37, pages 65-93.
  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.
  6. Nancy Birdsall and Christian J. Meyer, 2014. "The Median Is the Message: A Good-Enough Measure of Material Well-Being and Shared Development Progress," Working Papers 351, Center for Global Development.
  7. Lukas Schrott & Martin Gächter & Engelbert Theurl, 2012. "Regional development in advanced countries: A within-country application of the Human Development Index for Austria," Working Papers 2012-23, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  8. Permanyer, Iñaki, 2013. "Using Census Data to Explore the Spatial Distribution of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-13.

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