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The implicit equidistributional bias of human development

  • Guido Lüchters

    (University of Bonn, Germany)

  • Lukas Menkhoff

    (Aachen University of Technology, Germany; and Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany)

The innovation of HDI versus GDP measurement significantly prefers countries with a more equal income distribution. This result also holds true for different data definitions and several indicators of distribution. It is also robust against some degree of error in the input data, identified using Monte Carlo simulations. The HDI thus reveals a clear implicit value judgement compared with GDP measurement. It provides an established distribution-sensitive measure of development. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 613-623

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:5:p:613-623
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. 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.
  2. Adelman, Irma & Robinson, Sherman, 1989. "Income distribution and development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 949-1003 Elsevier.
  3. Fields, Gary S., 1994. "Data for measuring poverty and inequality changes in the developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 87-102, June.
  4. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
  5. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  6. Streeten, Paul, 1994. "Human Development: Means and Ends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 232-37, May.
  7. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
  8. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  9. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-43, May.
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