IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Human Development Index and changes in standards of living: Some historical comparisons


  • Crafts, N. F. R.


The article compiles measures of the Human Development Index and also growth rates of real GDP/person adjusted for changes in mortality and leisure for 16 advanced economies since 1870. It is argued that relatively low life expectancy implies that the high income countries of 1870 had lower living standards than most of today's Third World but that since 1870 imputations for reductions in market work time have added more to growth than decreases in mortality. Overall, it seems clear that conventional measures of economic growth seriously understate the rate of improvement in living standards since 1870.

Suggested Citation

  • 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(3), pages 299-322, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:1:y:1997:i:03:p:299-322_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:cup:ereveh:v:1:y:1997:i:03:p:299-322_00. 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: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.