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Is the Human Development Index Redundant?

  • Miles Cahill


    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

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    It is shown that the component statistics of the HDI are highly correlated with one another. The paper demonstrates that an implication of this correlation is that a wide range of index weights produce indexes that are statistically identical to the HDI. Indexes with only two of the three HDI components are very highly correlated with the HDI. These results can be interpreted two ways: either the HDI is robust to a wide range of index weights, or it is largely redundant.

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    Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 1-5

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    Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:31:y:2005:i:1:p:1-5
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    1. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 1996. "Capabilities, well-being and human development: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-162.
    2. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
    3. Larson, David A. & Wilford, Walton T., 1979. "The physical quality of life index: A useful social indicator?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 581-584, June.
    4. Miles Cahill, 2002. "Diminishing returns to GDP and the Human Development Index," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(13), pages 885-887.
    5. Mark McGillivray & Howard White, 1993. "Measuring development? The UNDP's human development index," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 183-192, 03.
    6. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
    7. 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.
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