IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/7982.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Improving Human Development: A Long-run View

Author

Listed:
  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro

Abstract

The pessimistic flavour of the Human Development Reports appears to be in contradiction with their own numbers as developing countries fare comparatively better in human development than in per capita GDP terms. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by providing a new, ‘improved’ human development index [IHDI], informed by welfare economics. The IHDI is presented here alongside the UNDP’s HDI for the world and its main regions since the late nineteenth century. Social dimensions in the IHDI are derived, following Kakwani (1993), with a convex achievement function, while a geometric average is employed to combine its dimensions (longevity, knowledge, and income). Thus, the IHDI does not conceal the gap between rich and poor countries and casts a much less optimistic view than the conventional UNDP index, while fits with the UNDP concern for international differences. The paper’s findings highlight main weaknesses in human development dimensions of present-day developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2010. "Improving Human Development: A Long-run View," CEPR Discussion Papers 7982, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7982
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7982
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Kimberly V. Smith, 2010. "Modern Medicine and the Twentieth Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 118-146, April.
    2. Dora Costa & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Long-Term Trends in Health, Welfare, and Economic Growth in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 47-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
    4. Lindert,Peter H., 2009. "Growing Public," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521529174, October.
    5. Feinstein,Charles H., 2005. "An Economic History of South Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521850919, October.
    6. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
    7. Goerlich, Francisco José & Pinilla, Rafael, 2005. "Esperanza de Vida y Potencial de Vida a lo largo del siglo XX en España
      [Live Expectancy and Potential throughout the twentieth century in Spain]
      ," MPRA Paper 15911, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.
    8. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, December.
    9. Feinstein,Charles H., 2005. "An Economic History of South Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521616416, October.
    10. Beckerman, Wilfred & Bacon, Robert, 1970. "International Comparisons of Income Levels: an Additional Measure: Reply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 418-420, June.
    11. Hopkins, Michael, 1991. "Human development revisited: A new UNDP report," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1469-1473, October.
    12. Väinö Kannisto & Mauri Nieminen & Oiva Turpeinen, 1999. "Finnish Life Tables since 1751," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(1), July.
    13. Stanley L. Engerman, 1997. "The Standard of Living Debate in International Perspective: Measures and Indicators," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 17-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Dejian Lai, 2000. "Temporal Analysis of Human Development Indicators: Principal Component Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 331-366, September.
    15. Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Health and Welfare during Industrialization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stec97-1, December.
    16. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1991. "The International Comparison Program: Current Status and Problems," NBER Chapters,in: International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research, pages 437-468 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Heston, Alan, 1973. "A Comparison of Some Short-Cut Methods of Estimating Real Product Per Capita," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(1), pages 79-104, March.
    18. Heston, Alan, 1994. "A brief review of some problems in using national accounts data in level of output comparisons and growth studies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 29-52, June.
    19. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
    20. Krishna Mazumdar, 1999. "Measuring the Well-Beings of the Developing Countries: Achievement and Improvement Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 1-60, May.
    21. Hicks, Norman & Streeten, Paul, 1979. "Indicators of development: The search for a basic needs yardstick," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 567-580, June.
    22. Leandro Conte & Giuseppe Della Torre & Michelangelo Vasta, 2007. "The Human Development Index in Historical Perspective: Italy from Political Unification to the Present Day," Department of Economics University of Siena 491, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    23. Crafts, N. F. R., 1997. "The Human Development Index and changes in standards of living: Some historical comparisons," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 299-322, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    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. Andrea Brandolini & Giovanni Vecchi, 2011. "The Well-Being of Italians: A Comparative Historical Approach," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 19, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Rebecca Williams & Les Oxley, 2016. "The Geography of Inventiveness in the Primary Sector: Some Initial Results for New Zealand, 1880–1895," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(2), pages 151-173, July.
    4. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-66.
    5. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    6. Emanuele Felice, 2012. "Neither dashboard nor 'mashup' indices: an empirical wealth approach as a pathway to a comprehensive measure of development," UHE Working papers 2012_01, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    7. Sevinc Rende & Murat Donduran, 2013. "Neighborhoods in Development: Human Development Index and Self-organizing Maps," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 721-734, January.
    8. repec:bla:revinw:v:62:y:2016:i:4:p:785-791 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Emanuele Felice, 2016. "The Misty Grail: The Search for a Comprehensive Measure of Development and the Reasons for GDP Primacy," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 47(5), pages 967-994, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Human Development; Life Expectancy; Per Capita GDP;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:cpr:ceprdp:7982. 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: (). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.