IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jecsur/v24y2010i5p841-894.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View

Author

Listed:
  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura

Abstract

The pessimistic flavour of the Human Development Reports appears to be in contradiction with their own numbers as developing countries fare comparatively better in human development than in per capita GDP terms. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by providing a new, 'improved' human development index (IHDI), informed by welfare economics. The IHDI is presented here alongside the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) HDI for the world and its main regions since the late 19th century. Social dimensions in the IHDI are derived, following Kakwani ( Journal of Development Economics 41 (1993), pp. 307-336), with a convex achievement function, whereas a geometric average is employed to combine its dimensions (longevity, knowledge and income). Thus, the IHDI does not conceal the gap between rich and poor countries and casts a much less optimistic view than the conventional UNDP index, while it fits with the UNDP concern for international differences. The paper's findings highlight main weaknesses in human development dimensions of present-day developing countries. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2010. "Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 841-894, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:5:p:841-894
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showTOC&journalCode=joes&volume=24&issue=5&year=2010&part=null
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Kimberly V. Smith, 2010. "Modern Medicine and the Twentieth Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 118-146, April.
    2. Dora Costa & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Long-Term Trends in Health, Welfare, and Economic Growth in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 47-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
    4. Lindert,Peter H., 2009. "Growing Public," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521529174, October.
    5. Feinstein,Charles H., 2005. "An Economic History of South Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521850919, October.
    6. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
    7. Goerlich, Francisco José & Pinilla, Rafael, 2005. "Esperanza de Vida y Potencial de Vida a lo largo del siglo XX en España
      [Live Expectancy and Potential throughout the twentieth century in Spain]
      ," MPRA Paper 15911, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.
    8. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1.
    9. Feinstein,Charles H., 2005. "An Economic History of South Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521616416, October.
    10. Beckerman, Wilfred & Bacon, Robert, 1970. "International Comparisons of Income Levels: an Additional Measure: Reply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 418-420, June.
    11. Hopkins, Michael, 1991. "Human development revisited: A new UNDP report," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1469-1473, October.
    12. Väinö Kannisto & Mauri Nieminen & Oiva Turpeinen, 1999. "Finnish Life Tables since 1751," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(1), July.
    13. Stanley L. Engerman, 1997. "The Standard of Living Debate in International Perspective: Measures and Indicators," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 17-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Dejian Lai, 2000. "Temporal Analysis of Human Development Indicators: Principal Component Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 331-366, September.
    15. Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Health and Welfare during Industrialization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stec97-1.
    16. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1991. "The International Comparison Program: Current Status and Problems," NBER Chapters,in: International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research, pages 437-468 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Heston, Alan, 1973. "A Comparison of Some Short-Cut Methods of Estimating Real Product Per Capita," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(1), pages 79-104, March.
    18. Heston, Alan, 1994. "A brief review of some problems in using national accounts data in level of output comparisons and growth studies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 29-52, June.
    19. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
    20. Krishna Mazumdar, 1999. "Measuring the Well-Beings of the Developing Countries: Achievement and Improvement Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 1-60, May.
    21. Hicks, Norman & Streeten, Paul, 1979. "Indicators of development: The search for a basic needs yardstick," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 567-580, June.
    22. Leandro Conte & Giuseppe Della Torre & Michelangelo Vasta, 2007. "The Human Development Index in Historical Perspective: Italy from Political Unification to the Present Day," Department of Economics University of Siena 491, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    23. Crafts, N. F. R., 1997. "The Human Development Index and changes in standards of living: Some historical comparisons," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 299-322, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Sostenibilidad del desarrollo: hacia una contabilidad histórica del ahorro genuino
      by juanhmex in Pasado y Presente de la Economia Mundial on 2013-02-27 16:19:04

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    2. Emanuele Felice, 2016. "The Misty Grail: The Search for a Comprehensive Measure of Development and the Reasons for GDP Primacy," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 47(5), pages 967-994, September.
    3. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2013. "Human development in Africa: A long-run perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-204.
    4. repec:bla:revinw:v:62:y:2016:i:4:p:785-791 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Rebecca Williams & Les Oxley, 2016. "The Geography of Inventiveness in the Primary Sector: Some Initial Results for New Zealand, 1880–1895," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(2), pages 151-173, July.
    6. Andrea Brandolini & Giovanni Vecchi, 2011. "The Well-Being of Italians: A Comparative Historical Approach," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 19, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-66.
    8. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Neither dashboard nor 'mashup' indices: an empirical wealth approach as a pathway to a comprehensive measure of development," UHE Working papers 2012_01, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    9. Sevinc Rende & Murat Donduran, 2013. "Neighborhoods in Development: Human Development Index and Self-organizing Maps," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 721-734, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:5:p:841-894. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0950-0804 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.