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Changes in human development in developing countries: an empirical assessment


  • Minh Dao

    () (Eastern Illinois University)


This paper empirically estimates the effect of determinants of changes in human development in developing countries. Based on data from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, we use a sample of twenty-nine developing economies and find that cross-country changes in human development may be explained by per capita GDP growth, the length of land boundaries, the percentage of children under age 5 whose weight is more than two standard deviations below the median for the international reference population ages 0-59 months, the under-5 mortality rate, the ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education, the prevalence of HIV, the national average distance to the capital city, and the income share held by the lowest 10% of population. We observe that the coefficient estimates of three independent variables do not have the anticipated sign due to the severe degree of multicollinearity among statistically significant explanatory variables. Statistical results of such empirical examination will assist governments in those countries identify areas that need to be improved upon in order to stimulate human development.

Suggested Citation

  • Minh Dao, 2011. "Changes in human development in developing countries: an empirical assessment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 1-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00128

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    Human Development Index; Per Capita GDP growth; Ratio of Girls to Boys in Primary and Secondary Education; Child Malnutrition; Developing Countries; Child Mortality; Income Share by the Lowest Decile;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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