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Measuring human development: a stochastic dominance approach

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  • Mehmet Pinar
  • Thanasis Stengos
  • Nikolas Topaloglou

Abstract

We consider a weighting scheme that yields a best-case scenario for measured human development such as the official equally-weighted Human Development Index (HDI) using an approach that relies on consistent tests for stochastic dominance efficiency. We compare the official equally-weighted HDI to all possible indices constructed from a set of individual components to obtain the most optimistic scenario for development. In the best-case scenario index education is weighted considerably more than the other two components, per capita income and life expectancy, relative to the weight that it gets in the official equally-weighted index. It also turns out that the improvement in the official HDI is mainly driven by improvements over time in the education index, the component moving fastest relative to its targets, when compared with per capita income and life expectancy. We find that the best-case scenario hybrid index leads to a marked improvement of measured development over time when compared with the official equally-weighted HDI. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Mehmet Pinar & Thanasis Stengos & Nikolas Topaloglou, 2013. "Measuring human development: a stochastic dominance approach," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 69-108, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:18:y:2013:i:1:p:69-108
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-012-9083-8
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nonparametric Stochastic Dominance; Human Development Index; Mixed integer programming; C12; C13; C15; O15; C57;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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