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Success and Failure in Human Development, 1970--2007

  • Gustav Ranis
  • Frances Stewart

The paper reviews experience in advancing Human Development (HD) since 1970 by investigating behaviour among countries that made the largest improvement in HD and those that made the least improvement. The paper provides evidence on a range of indicators for the three best (and worst) performers among high, medium and low HD countries. It identifies alternative combinations of variables associated with success and failure. It then reviews performance on a range of other dimensions of Human Development, including political rights, gender empowerment, societal stability and environmental sustainability and shows these are only weakly associated with performance on the Human Development Index (HDI). To illuminate historical, political and institutional factors associated with success and failure, the performance of six countries (four successful and two weak performers) are briefly reviewed—Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos and Zambia.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/19452829.2011.645026
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 167-195

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:13:y:2012:i:2:p:167-195
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  1. Kelly Bird & Hal Hill, 2010. "Tiny, Poor, Land-locked, Indebted, but Growing: Lessons for Late Reforming Transition Economies from Laos," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 117-143.
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