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Robust human development rankings

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  • Laurens Cherchye

    ()

  • Erwin Oghe

    ()

  • Tom Van Puyenbroeck

    ()

Abstract

The United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI) takes several dimensions ---income, school enrolment and literacy rate, longevity--- and combines them into a single figure that measures the degree of development of a given country. However, there is disagreement about (i) how to normalize the scores for the different criteria to make them comparable and (ii) how to aggregate the (normalized) scores over the different criteria. At the risk of stressing the obvious, changes in normalization and/or aggregation will affect the country rankings. First, we focus on robust rankings, i.e., rankings which hold for a wide set of normalization and/or aggregation procedures. Second, we show that all proposed ranking procedures can be implemented via linear programming techniques. Third, we illustrate how our methodology can prove useful in assessing the robustness of the human development country ranking/classification (produced annually by the United Nations) in a descriptive and statistical way.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics in its series Public Economics Working Paper Series with number ces0516.

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Length: 39 pp.
Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wpe:papers:ces0516

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Keywords: Human Development Index; Lorenz Dominance; Linear programming; Robustness Analysis;

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References

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  1. Michela Nardo & Michaela Saisana & Andrea Saltelli & Stefano Tarantola & Anders Hoffman & Enrico Giovannini, 2005. "Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2005/3, OECD Publishing.
  2. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
  3. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagnere, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2003. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 309-336, June.
  4. Dowrick, Steve & Dunlop, Yvonne & Quiggin, John, 2003. "Social indicators and comparisons of living standards," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 501-529, April.
  5. Ramakrushna Panigrahi & Sashi Sivramkrishna, 2002. "An Adjusted Human Development Index: Robust Country Rankings with Respect to the Choice of Fixed Maximum and Minimum Indicator Values," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 301-311.
  6. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
  7. Laurens Cherchye & Wim Moesen & Tom Van Puyenbroeck, 2003. "Legitimately Diverse, yet Comparable: On Synthesising Social Inclusion Performance in the EU," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0301, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  8. Shoutir Kishore Chatterjee, 2005. "Measurement of Human Development: an alternative approach," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 31-44.
  9. Krishna Mazumdar, 2003. "A New Approach to Human Development Index," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 535-549.
  10. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Nickelsburg, Gerald, 1988. "Multivariate Measures of Well-Being and an Analysis of Inequality in the Michigan Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 326-34, July.
  11. Satya R. Chakravarty, 2003. "A Generalized Human Development Index," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 99-114, February.
  12. Guido Luchters & Lukas Menkhoff, 2000. "Chaotic signals from HDI measurement," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 267-270.
  13. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
  14. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Briec, Walter & Dumas, Audrey & Stenger, Agathe, 2013. "On the standard achievement and well-being indexes and their relation to the Hicks–Moorsteen productivity index," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 900-909.
  2. Luis Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2012. "A Household-Based Distribution-Sensitive Human Development Index: An Empirical Application to Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 395-411, December.
  3. Ángeles Sánchez-Domínguez & Maria J. Ruiz Martos, 2013. "Europe 2020 strategy: a strategy for which type of growth?," ThE Papers 13/11, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  4. Permanyer, Iñaki, 2013. "Using Census Data to Explore the Spatial Distribution of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-13.
  5. P. Zhou & B. Ang & D. Zhou, 2010. "Weighting and Aggregation in Composite Indicator Construction: a Multiplicative Optimization Approach," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 169-181, March.
  6. James E. Foster & Mark McGillivray & Suman Seth, 2013. "Composite Indices: Rank Robustness, Statistical Association, and Redundancy," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 35-56, January.
  7. Po-Chin Wu & Chiung-Wen Fan & Sheng-Chieh Pan, 2014. "Does Human Development Index Provide Rational Development Rankings? Evidence from Efficiency Rankings in Super Efficiency Model," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 647-658, April.
  8. Stéphane Blancard & Jean-François Hoarau, 2011. "Optimizing the new formulation of the United Nations' human development index: An empirical view from data envelopment analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 989-1003.
  9. 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.
  10. Andrew Sharpe & Brendon Andrews, 2013. "An Assessment of Weighting Methodologies for Composite Indicators: The case of the Index of Economic Well-being," CSLS Research Reports 2012-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  11. Hatefi, S.M. & Torabi, S.A., 2010. "A common weight MCDA-DEA approach to construct composite indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 114-120, November.
  12. Maki Michinaka, 2011. "Human Development Rankings Based on the Pareto Dominance: Illustrations Using Cross-country Panel Data 1980-2007," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-188, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  13. Stephen Morse, 2013. "Bottom Rail on Top: The Shifting Sands of Sustainable Development Indicators as Tools to Assess Progress," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(6), pages 2421-2441, May.

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