IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jecinq/v9y2011i2p249-288.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques

Author

Listed:
  • Jeni Klugman
  • Francisco Rodríguez
  • Hyung-Jin Choi

Abstract

Since its introduction in the first Human Development Report in 1990, the Human Development Index (HDI) has attracted great interest in policy and academic circles, as well as in the media and national audiences around the world. Its popularity can be attributed to the simplicity of its characterization of development - an average of achievements in health, education and income – and to its underlying message that development is much more than economic growth. Yet the HDI’s very simplicity prompted critiques from the start, with some contending that it was too simplistic, while others who accepted its self-imposed limitations still questioned its choice of indicators and its computational methodology. In 2010, for the twentieth anniversary edition, the Human Development Report undertook a comprehensive review of these critiques and introduced several major changes to the HDI. This article is a detailed review of key critiques of the HDI, today and in the past, and explains the recent changes introduced to the HDI formula and indicators.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 249-288, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:249-288
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-011-9178-z
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10888-011-9178-z
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10888-011-9178-z?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
    2. Sabina Alkire, Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers 38, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    3. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 1995. "Gender Inequality in Human Development: Theories and Measurement," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1995-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    4. Suman Seth, 2009. "A Class of Association Sensitive Multidimensional Welfare Indices," OPHI Working Papers 27, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    5. Francisco Rodríguez, 2006. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Understanding the Evidence on Venezuelan Economic Growth," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-009, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    6. Solava Ibrahim & Sabina Alkire, 2007. "Agency and Empowerment: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 379-403.
    7. Satya R. Chakravarty, 2003. "A Generalized Human Development Index," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 99-114, February.
    8. Hendrik Wolff & Howard Chong & Maximilian Auffhammer, 2011. "Classification, Detection and Consequences of Data Error: Evidence from the Human Development Index," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 843-870, June.
    9. Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.),Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677, Elsevier.
    10. 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.
    11. Shoutir Kishore Chatterjee, 2005. "Measurement of Human Development: an alternative approach," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 31-44.
    12. P. Palazzi & A. Lauri, 1998. "The Human Development Index: suggested corrections," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 51(205), pages 193-221.
    13. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    14. Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 2006. "Capability Sets as the Basis of a New Measure of Human Development," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 311-321.
    15. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    16. Ingrid Robeyns, 2005. "The Capability Approach: a theoretical survey," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 93-117.
    17. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    18. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
    19. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
    20. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Mashup Indices of Development," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 27(1), pages 1-32, February.
    21. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of Human Development Index," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2000-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    22. Dasgupta, Partha & Weale, Martin, 1992. "On measuring the quality of life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 119-131, January.
    23. Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), 2005. "Handbook of Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    24. Sabina Alkire, James Foster, 2010. "Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (HDI)," OPHI Working Papers 37, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    25. Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Human Development and Sustainability," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 561-579, November.
    26. Miles Cahill, 2005. "Is the Human Development Index Redundant?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-5, Winter.
    27. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    28. Decancq, Koen & Decoster, André & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "The Evolution of World Inequality in Well-being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 11-25, January.
    29. Barry P. Bosworth & Susan M. Collins, 2003. "The Empirics of Growth: An Update," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 113-206.
    30. Eduardo Zambrano, 2011. "Functionings, Capabilities and the 2010 Human Development Index," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-11, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    31. Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 201-209.
    32. Georges Nguefack-Tsague & Stephan Klasen & Walter Zucchini, 2011. "On Weighting the Components of the Human Development Index: A Statistical Justification," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 183-202.
    33. Milorad Kovacevic, 2010. "Review of HDI Critiques and Potential Improvements," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-33, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    34. Farhad Noorbakhsh, 1998. "The human development index: some technical issues and alternative indices," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 589-605.
    35. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-243, May.
    36. Desai, Meghnad, 1991. "Human development : Concepts and measurement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 350-357, April.
    37. Suman Seth, 2013. "A class of distribution and association sensitive multidimensional welfare indices," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(2), pages 133-162, June.
    38. Herrero Carmen & Martínez Rico Ricardo & Villar Notario Antonio, 2008. "A Multiplicative Human Development Index," Working Papers 201099, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
    39. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
    40. Deepa Narayan, 2005. "Measuring Empowerment : Cross Disciplinary Perspectives," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 7441, December.
    41. Andrea Brandolini, 2008. "On applying synthetic indices of multidimensional well-being: health and income inequalities in selected EU countries," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 668, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    42. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    43. Amie Gaye & Jeni Klugman & Milorad Kovacevic & Sarah Twigg & Eduardo Zambrano, 2010. "Measuring Key Disparities in Human Development: The Gender Inequality Index," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-46, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    44. James Foster & Luis Lopez-Calva & Miguel Szekely, 2005. "Measuring the Distribution of Human Development: methodology and an application to Mexico," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25.
    45. Bruni, Luigino & Comim, Flavio & Pugno, Maurizio (ed.), 2008. "Capabilities and Happiness," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199532148, November.
    46. Carmen Herrero & Ricardo Martínez & Antonio Villar, 2010. "Improving the Measurement of Human Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-12, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    47. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-223, May.
    48. Stephan Klasen & Dana Sch�ler, 2011. "Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure: Implementing Some Specific Proposals," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-30, January.
    49. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 4373, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Vanesa Jordá & José Sarabia, 2015. "International Convergence in Well-Being Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 1-27, January.
    2. Mariano Luque & Salvador Pérez-Moreno & Beatriz Rodríguez, 2016. "Measuring Human Development: A Multi-criteria Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 713-733, February.
    3. Issaka Dialga, 2016. "L'Indice du Développement Humain ou l'indice monétaire de développement ? Evidences par l’Analyse en Composantes Principales," Working Papers hal-01308724, HAL.
    4. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2021. "Augmented human development in the age of globalization," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 74(4), pages 946-975, November.
    5. Panagiotis Ravanos & Giannis Karagiannis, 2021. "A VEA Benefit-of-the-Doubt Model for the HDI," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 27-46, May.
    6. Elizabeth Stanton, 2007. "The Human Development Index: A History," Working Papers wp127, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    7. Suman Seth & Antonio Villar, 2014. "Human Development, Inequality and Poverty: empirical findings," Working Papers 14.11, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    8. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    9. Suman Seth and Antonio Villar, 2017. "Measuring Human Development and Human Deprivations," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp110.pdf, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    10. Lukas Schrott & Martin Gaechter & Engelbert Theurl, 2015. "Regional Development in Advanced Countries: A Within-country Application of the Human Development Index for Austria," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 1, pages 1-23, March.
    11. Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 201-209.
    12. Sevinc Rende & Murat Donduran, 2013. "Neighborhoods in Development: Human Development Index and Self-organizing Maps," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 721-734, January.
    13. Nayak, Purusottam, 2013. "Methodological Developments in Human Development Literature," MPRA Paper 50608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Rui Fragoso & Vladimir Bushenkov & Carlos Marques, 2012. "Integrated Water Management Using Feasible Goals Method and Interactive Decision Maps: The Case of Odivelas Irrigation," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_07, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    15. Gertrudes Saúde Guerreiro, 2014. "Regional Income Convergence in Portugal (1991–2002)," Research on Economic Inequality, in: John A. Bishop & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez (ed.), Economic Well-Being and Inequality: Papers from the Fifth ECINEQ Meeting, volume 22, pages 351-381, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    16. Paulo R. Silva & Elisabete G.S. Félix, 2012. "Challenges of the Information Economy: Asymmetry of Information in the Information Society," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_15, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    17. Anabela Schinck & Soumodip Sarkar, 2012. "Financial Bootstrapping: a critical entrepreneurship skill," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_20, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    18. Alfredo M. Pereira & Jorge M. Andraz, 2013. "On The Economic Effects Of Public Infrastructure Investment: A Survey Of The International Evidence," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 1-37, December.
    19. Maria Jeus & Pedro Henriques & Pedro Laranjeira & Vanda Narciso & Maria Leonor da Silva Carvalho, 2012. "The impact of shifting cultivation in the forestry ecosystems of Timor-Leste," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2012_16, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    20. Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan, 2012. "A Household-Based Human Development Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 878-899.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human development; Education; Health; Developing countries; Inequality; Poverty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:249-288. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.