Inequality in Human Development: An empirical assessment of thirty-two countries
One of the most frequent critiques of the HDI is that it does not take into account inequality within countries in its three dimensions. In this paper, we apply a simple approach to compute the three components and the overall HDI for quintiles of the income distribution. This allows comparison of the level in human development of the poor with the level of the non-poor within countries, but also across countries. This is an application of the method presented in Grimm et al. (2008) to a sample of 21 low and middle income countries and 11 industrialized countries. In particular the inclusion of the industrialized countries, which were not included in the previous work, implies to deal with a number of additional challenges, which we outline in this paper. Our results show that inequality in human development within countries is high, both in developed and industrialized countries. In fact, the HDI of the lowest quintiles in industrialized countries is often below the HDI of the richest quintile in many middle income countries. We also find, however, a strong overall negative correlation between the level of human development and inequality in human development.
|Date of creation:||15 Jul 2009|
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- Michael Grimm & Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Mark Misselhorn, 2007.
"A Human Development Index by Income Groups,"
Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers
155, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
- Michael Grimm, Kenneth Harttgen, Stephan Klasen, and Mark Misselhorn, 2006. "A Human Development Index by Income Groups," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2006-07, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- Misselhorn, Mark & Klasen, Stephan & Harttgen, Kenneth & Grimm, Michael, 2007. "A Human Development Index by Income Groups," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 12, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Klasen, Stephan, 2008.
"Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Measurement Issues using Income and Non-Income Indicators,"
Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 420-445, March.
- Stephan Klasen, 2006. "Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Measurement Issues using Income and Non-Income Indicators," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 142, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
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