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Robust human development rankings

Author

Listed:
  • Laurens Cherchye

    ()

  • Erwin Ooghe

    ()

  • Tom Puyenbroeck

    ()

Abstract

The United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI) takes several dimensions ---income, school enrolment and literacy rate, longevity--- and combines them into a single figure that measures the degree of development of a given country. However, there is disagreement about (i) how to normalize the scores for the different criteria to make them comparable and (ii) how to aggregate the (normalized) scores over the different criteria. At the risk of stressing the obvious, changes in normalization and/or aggregation will affect the country rankings. First, we focus on robust rankings, i.e., rankings which hold for a wide set of normalization and/or aggregation procedures. Second, we show that all proposed ranking procedures can be implemented via linear programming techniques. Third, we illustrate how our methodology can prove useful in assessing the robustness of the human development country ranking/classification (produced annually by the United Nations) in a descriptive and statistical way.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Laurens Cherchye & Erwin Ooghe & Tom Puyenbroeck, 2008. "Robust human development rankings," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 6(4), pages 287-321, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:6:y:2008:i:4:p:287-321
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-007-9058-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagnere, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2003. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 309-336, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human development index; Lorenz dominance; Linear programming; Robustness analysis; C61; D63; I31; O10;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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