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Accounting for Inequality: A Proposed Revision of the Human Development Index

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  • Elizabeth Stanton
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    Abstract

    Human Development Index (HDI) is a country-level measure of social welfare based on national values for average life expectancy, rates of adult literacy and school enrollment, and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Since HDI is based entirely on national averages it can provide only limited information about distribution within countries. The distribution of access to key resources is an important determinant of the effect of health, education and income on both individual well-being and on the aggregate well-being of a population as a whole. This paper makes a case for the importance of inequality to measuring social welfare; presents an original alternative to HDI that includes the distribution of health, education, and income in each country; and reports the results of this inequality-adjusted HDI for 46 countries.

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    File URL: http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/working_papers/working_papers_101-150/WP119.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp119.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp119

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    Related research

    Keywords: Human Development; Inequality; Social Welfare; HDI;

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    Cited by:
    1. Arthur MacEwan, 2007. "The Meaning of Poverty: Questions of Distribution and Power," Working Papers wp148, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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