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Progress in human development: Are we on the right path?


  • Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan
  • Srijit Mishra


The conventional measure of the Human Development Index (HDI) is a linear average in three dimensions, HDI1. This is indifferent to uniformity in attainment across dimensions. An alternative, HDI2, based on the shortfall from the ideal using Euclidean distance, addresses the above anomaly. These two measures are used to analyse progress in human development for 127 countries over the period 1990-2004. Introducing the notion of an ideal path, measures of fluctuation and normalised-change are proposed. Empirical illustration highlights the pattern in Sub-Saharan countries, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and some of the emerging economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan & Srijit Mishra, 2010. "Progress in human development: Are we on the right path?," International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(3), pages 199-221.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijepee:v:3:y:2010:i:3:p:199-221

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank, 2002. "Transition, The First Ten Years : Analysis and Lessons for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14042.
    2. Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan & Srijit Mishra & B. Sudhakara Reddy, 2008. "An Alternative approach to measure HDI," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-001, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    3. Samuel H. Preston & Jessica Y. Ho, 2009. "Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?," NBER Working Papers 15213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Srijit Mishra & Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan, 2008. "On A Class of Human Development Index Measures," Development Economics Working Papers 22340, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    5. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    6. Augustin Kwasi Fosu and Germano Mwabu, 2010. "Human Development in Africa," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    7. Dowling, Malcolm & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2006. "Central Asia after Fifteen Years of Transition: Growth, Regional Cooperation, and Policy Choices," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 3, Asian Development Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sushanta K. Mallick, 2014. "Disentangling the Poverty Effects of Sectoral Output, Prices, and Policies in India," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 773-801, December.
    2. Srijit Mishra & Hippu Slak Kristle Nathan, 2013. "Measuring human development index: The old, the new and the elegant," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2013-020, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    3. T.V.S.Ramamohan Rao, 2011. "Contemporary Relevance and Ongoing Controversies Related to the CES Production Function," Journal of Quantitative Economics, The Indian Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 36-57, July.

    More about this item


    HDI; Human Development Index; ideal path; fluctuation measures; normalised change measures; sub-Saharan; CIS; Commonwealth of Independent States; emerging economies.;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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