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A Multivariate Analysis and Extension of the Human Development Index

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  • Basudeb Biswas
  • Frank Caliendo

Abstract

A multivariate technique called principal component analysis is used to combine measures of human development. The first principal component index is the linear combination of component indexes with maximal information content. This multivariate technique accounts for differences in the variances of component indexes as well as interdependence among the component indexes. The first principal component of the three indexes used in the HDI (life expectancy, education, GDP) yields international rankings nearly identical to the HDI itself. We interpret this as theoretical support for the HDI ranking system as a metric of international human development. Also, we create a new index which is the first principal component of the five indexes: the three components of the HDI together with two additional indexes that capture gender inequality and child malnutrition. The international ranking of countries from most to least developed, according to the new index, is quite similar to the HDI ranking.

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File URL: ftp://repec.bus.usu.edu/RePEc/usu/pdf/ERI2004-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utah State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2004-01.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usu:wpaper:2004-01

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