IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring the Distribution of Human Development: methodology and an application to Mexico


  • James Foster
  • Luis Lopez-Calva
  • Miguel Szekely


The Human Development Index (HDI) improves upon per-capita Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of development by incorporating information on health and education. However, like its predecessor, it fails to account for the inequality with which the benefits of development are distributed among the population. Subsequent work by Anand and Sen (1993) and Hicks (1997) has led to a useful distribution-sensitive measure of human development, but at the cost of a key property of the HDI that ensures consistency between regional and aggregate analyses. This paper presents a new parametric class of human develop-ment indices that includes the original HDI as well as a family of distribution sensitive indices that satisfy all the basic properties for an index of human development. An empirical application using the year 2000 Mexican Population Census data shows how the new measures can be applied to analyze the distribution of human development at the national level and for individual states.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:6:y:2005:i:1:p:5-25
    DOI: 10.1080/1464988052000342220

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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


    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:taf:jhudca:v:6:y:2005:i:1:p:5-25. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.