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Human Development Index: A Non-Compensatory Assessment

  • Sebastián Lozano Segura


  • Ester Gutiérrez Moya


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    The Human Development Index is a summary measure of Human Development on three basic dimensions:longevity, knowledge and standard of living. An index is computed for each of these three dimensions and a simple average computed. In this paper we adopt a Non-Compensatory perspective that considers thatdeprivation in any one of these basic dimensions cannot be compensated by achievements in any other.Consistent with this view, we propose to use the minimum of the component indexes instead of the arithmetic average. We present the results of this re-assessment of the HDI for the last five years´ data. Although correlated with the HDI, this NCHDI gives a different ranking of the countries and, above all, provides new insights into imbalances within the HDI. The new index can also be used at the national and local levels.

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    Article provided by UN - RCE - CID in its journal REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA.

    Volume (Year): (2009)
    Issue (Month): (June)

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    Handle: RePEc:col:000093:005899
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    1. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-43, May.
    2. Farhad Noorbakhsh, 1998. "The human development index: some technical issues and alternative indices," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 589-605.
    3. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
    4. Luchters, Guido & Menkhoff, Lukas, 1996. "Human development as statistical artifact," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1385-1392, August.
    5. Tomson Ogwang & Abdella Abdou, 2003. "The Choice of Principal Variables for Computing some Measures of Human Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 139-152, October.
    6. Despotis, D.K., 2005. "Measuring human development via data envelopment analysis: the case of Asia and the Pacific," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 385-390, October.
    7. Desai, Meghnad, 1991. "Human development : Concepts and measurement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 350-357, April.
    8. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
    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. Miles Cahill, 2005. "Is the Human Development Index Redundant?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-5, Winter.
    11. Morse, Stephen, 2003. "For better or for worse, till the human development index do us part?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 281-296, June.
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