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Standards of living, human development indices and structural adjustments in developing countries: an empirical investigation

  • Farhad Noorbakhsh

    (Centre for Development Studies, Department of Economics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

This paper attempts to examine whether the structural adjustment programmes of the World Bank have improved the standards of living and human development indices in the treated countries. It appears that while during the adjustment period the average real per capita income has grown faster in these countries this has not been the pattern for the indicators of standards of living. Although there exists a relationship between the human development indices and income for countries considered, the income elasticity of the non-income components of the human development indices examined here are very low for the countries which have benefited for a longer period from the structural adjustment loans and similarly for the non-treated countries. It seems that the physical standards of living examined here, though depending on per capita income, were relatively more influenced by other factors. In conclusion the validity of a high concentration of adjustment programmes on income growth as the main target is questioned. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 10 (1998)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 751-775

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:10:y:1998:i:6:p:751-775
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
  2. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Jolly, Richard & Stewart, Frances (ed.), 1987. "Adjustment with a Human Face: Volume 1, Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286097, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Dasgupta, Partha & Weale, Martin, 1992. "On measuring the quality of life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 119-131, January.
  5. Haq, Mahbub ul (ed.), 1996. "Reflections on Human Development," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101935, March.
  6. Streeten, Paul, 1994. "Human Development: Means and Ends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 232-37, May.
  7. Kakwani, N., 1995. "Structural Adjustment and Performance in Living Standards in Developing Countries," Papers 95-12, New South Wales - School of Economics.
  8. Mohsin S. Khan, 1990. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Fund-Supported Adjustment Programs," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 195-231, June.
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