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“Healthy” Human Development Indices

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  • Merwan Engineer

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  • Nilanjana Roy
  • Sari Fink

Abstract

In the Human Development Index (HDI), life expectancy is the only indicator used in modeling the dimension ‘a long and healthy life’. Whereas life expectancy is a direct measure of quantity of life, it is only an indirect measure of healthy years lived. In this paper we attempt to remedy this omission by introducing into the HDI the morbidity indicator, “expected lost healthy years” (LHE), used in the World Health Report Though LHE is only weakly correlated with life expectancy and displays considerable variation across countries, the ranking of nations using the adjusted HDI is very similar to that from the HDI. Nevertheless, there are some outlier countries (including large countries like China and the United States) that experience notable changes in rank. Given the considerable variation in the morbidity data across gender, we also adjust the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) in a similar fashion. The ranking using the adjusted GDI is very similar to that from the GDI, but it has a lower rank correlation with the HDI.
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Suggested Citation

  • Merwan Engineer & Nilanjana Roy & Sari Fink, 2010. "“Healthy” Human Development Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 61-80, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:99:y:2010:i:1:p:61-80 DOI: 10.1007/s11205-009-9566-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2013. "Human development in Africa: A long-run perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-204.
    2. Anto, Mb Hendrie, 2011. "Introducing an Islamic Human Development Index (I-HDI) to Measure Development in OIC Countries," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 19, pages 69-95.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Development Index; Healthy Life Expectancy; Morbidity; Gender-related Development Index;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies

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