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Forecasting the Impacts of Environmental Constraints on Human Development

Author

Listed:
  • Barry B. Hughes

    () (University of Denver)

  • Mohammod T. Irfan

    () (Pardee Center for International Futures)

  • Jonathan D. Moyer

    () (Pardee Center for International Futures and University of Denver)

  • Dale S. Rothman

    () (Pardee Center for International Futures and University of Denver)

  • José R. Solórzano

    () (Pardee Center for International Futures)

Abstract

Environmental constraints have always had and will always have important consequences for human development. It has sometimes contributed to or even caused the reversal of such development. The possibility that such constraints will grow significantly throughout this century raises the concern that the very significant advances in human development across most of the world in recent decades will slow or even reverse. We use the International Futures (IFs) integrated forecasting system to explore three alternative scenarios: a Base Case scenario, an Environmental Challenge scenario, and an Environmental Disaster scenario. Our purpose is to consider the impact of different aspects and levels of environmental constraint on the course of future human development. Using the Human Development Index (HDI) and its separate components as our key measures of development, we find that environmental constraints, directly and through a variety of indirect paths, could indeed greatly slow progress and even, in disastrous conditions, begin to reverse it. Least developed countries are most vulnerable in relative terms, while middle-income countries can suffer the greatest absolute impact of constraints and more developed countries are most resilient. Education advance is the aspect of development tapped by the HDI that is most likely to continue even in the face of tightening environmental constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry B. Hughes & Mohammod T. Irfan & Jonathan D. Moyer & Dale S. Rothman & José R. Solórzano, 2011. "Forecasting the Impacts of Environmental Constraints on Human Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2011-08
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    File URL: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2011/papers/HDRP_2011_08.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Cristina Balaceanu & Diana Apostol, 2014. "Gdp As A Measuring Instrument For The Human Development," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 6, pages 69-72, December.
    2. Undp, 2011. "HDR 2011 - Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All," Human Development Report (1990 to present), Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), number hdr2011, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human development; international futures; environmental constraints; scenarios; forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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