IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/got/gotcrc/087.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Getting Progress Right: Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends

Author

Listed:
  • Stephan Klasen

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Simon Lange

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

Abstract

Most numerical targets within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are overly ambitious for the poorest countries when interpreted as country-specifi c goals. As a consequence, the current system undermines accountability and ownership and jeopardizes the public support the MDGs have drawn in the past. This paper proposes an alternative approach to evaluating progress towards non-income MDGs that allows a sensible appraisal of countries' progress. We fi rst estimate transition paths towards high levels of achievement for three MDG indicators (under- five mortality, primary completion, and gender equality in education). In line with previous empirical work, we fi nd that the sigmoid-shaped transition path captures several features of past transition episodes. Accounting only for initial levels and time elapsed, our models explain up to 80 percent of the within-country variation in the data depending on the indicator considered. Estimated transition paths are then used to project progress towards high levels of achievement since 1990. Comparing actual with projected progress allows us to identify over- and underachievers based on realistic expectations. For example, we find that while some countries in Sub-Sahara Africa have in fact shown considerable performance towards low levels of under-five mortality, the bulk of the the countries in that region is still lagging behind. Finally, we provide some preliminary regression results.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2011. "Getting Progress Right: Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 87, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 20 Feb 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:087
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/courant-papers/CRC-PEG_DP_87.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lay, Jann, 2010. "MDG achievements, determinants and resource needs : what has been learnt ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5320, The World Bank.
    2. Angus Deaton, 2006. "Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies," NBER Working Papers 12735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Satya Chakravarty & Amita Majumder, 2008. "Millennium Development Goals: Measuring Progress towards their Achievement," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 109-129.
    4. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
    5. Dean T. Jamison & Joel G. Breman & Anthony R. Measham & George Alleyne & Mariam Claeson & David B. Evans & Prabhat Jha & Ann Mills & Philip Musgrove, 2006. "Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, Second Edition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7242, December.
    6. Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko & Greenstein, Joshua & Stewart, David, 2013. "How Should MDG Success and Failure be Judged: Faster Progress or Achieving the Targets?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 19-30.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_wider_final_annual_lecture_all.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Health in an age of globalization," Working Papers 245, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    9. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_healthglobalage is not listed on IDEAS
    10. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
    11. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Lucia Hanmer & Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2003. "Infant and child mortality in developing countries: Analysing the data for Robust determinants," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 101-118.
    14. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    16. Deon Filmer & Amer Hasan & Lant Pritchett, 2006. "A Millennium Learning Goal: Measuring Real Progress in Education," Working Papers 97, Center for Global Development.
    17. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
    18. Sonalde Desai & Soumya Alva, 1998. "Maternal education and child health: Is there a strong causal relationship?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(1), pages 71-81, February.
    19. Jan Vandemoortele, 2009. "The MDG Conundrum: Meeting the Targets Without Missing the Point," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(4), pages 355-371, July.
    20. Easterly, William, 1999. "Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-276, September.
    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. Lange, Simon & Klasen, Stephan, 2017. "How the New International Goal for Child Mortality is Unfair to Sub-Saharan Africa (Again)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 128-146.
    2. Christophe Muller & Asha Kannan & Roland Alcindor, 2016. "Multidimensional Poverty in Seychelles," AMSE Working Papers 1601, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France, revised Jan 2016.
    3. Declan French, 2016. "Did the Millennium Development Goals Change Trends in Child Mortality?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(10), pages 1312-1325, October.
    4. Alkire, Sabina & Roche, José Manuel & Vaz, Ana, 2017. "Changes Over Time in Multidimensional Poverty: Methodology and Results for 34 Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 232-249.
    5. Jacob, Arun, 2017. "Mind the Gap: Analyzing the Impact of Data Gap in Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) Indicators on the Progress toward MDGs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 260-278.
    6. Meg Elkins & Simon Feeny & David Prentice, 2015. "Do Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers reduce poverty and improve well-being?," Discussion Papers 15/02, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    7. Edward, Peter & Sumner, Andy, 2014. "Estimating the Scale and Geography of Global Poverty Now and in the Future: How Much Difference Do Method and Assumptions Make?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 67-82.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Casabonne, Ursula & Kenny, Charles, 2012. "The Best Things in Life are (Nearly) Free: Technology, Knowledge, and Global Health," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 21-35.
    2. Olper, Alessandro & Curzi, Daniele & Swinnen, Johan, 2018. "Trade liberalization and child mortality: A Synthetic Control Method," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 394-410.
    3. Yusuf, Shahid & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Wei Ha, 2007. "What makes cities healthy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4107, The World Bank.
    4. Welander, Anna & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nilsson, Therese, 2014. "Globalization and Child Health in Developing Countries: The Role of Democracy," Working Paper Series 1016, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Weichun Chen & Judith A. Clarke & Nilanjana Roy, 2014. "Health and wealth: Short panel Granger causality tests for developing countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(6), pages 755-784, September.
    6. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    8. Bergh, Andreas & Nilsson, Therese, 2010. "Good for Living? On the Relationship between Globalization and Life Expectancy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1191-1203, September.
    9. Bloom, David E. & Chen, Simiao & Kuhn, Michael & McGovern, Mark E. & Oxley, Les & Prettner, Klaus, 2020. "The economic burden of chronic diseases: Estimates and projections for China, Japan, and South Korea," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 17(C).
    10. Fiseha Gebregziabher & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2014. "Social Spending and Aggregate Welfare in Developing and Transition Economies," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2014-082, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Maria Lo Bue & Stephan Klasen, 2013. "Identifying Synergies and Complementarities Between MDGs: Results from Cluster Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 647-670, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Gebregziabher, Fiseha & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2014. "Social spending and aggregate welfare in developing and transition economies," WIDER Working Paper Series 082, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.
    15. Mishra, Prachi & Newhouse, David, 2009. "Does health aid matter?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 855-872, July.
    16. 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.
    17. Ms. Prachi Mishra & David Locke Newhouse, 2007. "Health Aid and Infant Mortality," IMF Working Papers 2007/100, International Monetary Fund.
    18. David Canning, 2012. "Progress in Health around the World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(12), pages 1784-1798, December.
    19. Welander, Anna & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nilsson, Therese, 2015. "Globalization, democracy, and child health in developing countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 52-63.
    20. Khvan, Margarita & Smorodenkova, Elizaveta & Yakovlev, Evgeny, 2020. "Economic Crises and Mortality Among the Elderly: Evidence from Two Russian Crises," IZA Discussion Papers 13540, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    millennium development goals; human development; mortality transition; education transition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:got:gotcrc:087. 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: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/82144.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dominik Noe (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/82144.html .

    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.