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Classifications of Countries Basedon their Level of Development; How it is Done and How it Could Be Done


  • Lynge Nielsen


The paper analyzes how the UNDP, the World Bank, and the IMF classify countries based on their level of development. These systems are found lacking in clarity with regard to their underlying rationale. The paper argues that a country classification system based on a transparent, data-driven methodology is preferable to one based on judgment or ad hoc rules. Such an alternative methodology is developed and used to construct classification systems using a variety of proxies for development attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Lynge Nielsen, 2011. "Classifications of Countries Basedon their Level of Development; How it is Done and How it Could Be Done," IMF Working Papers 11/31, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ales Bulír & Martin Cihák & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Clarity of Central Bank Communication About Inflation," DNB Working Papers 333, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Tiff Macklem, 2005. "Commentary : central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 475-494.
    3. Alan S. Blinder, 2008. "Talking about Monetary Policy: The Virtues (and Vices?) of Central Bank Communication," Working Papers 1048, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    4. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-945, December.
    5. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Jansen, David-Jan, 2011. "Mumbling with great incoherence: Was it really so difficult to understand Alan Greenspan?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 70-72, October.
    7. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
    8. Martin Cihak & Katerina Smídková & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Writing Clearly; ECB’s Monetary Policy Communication," IMF Working Papers 08/252, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Benjamin Born & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2014. "Central Bank Communication on Financial Stability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(577), pages 701-734, June.
    10. Katerina Smídková & Viktor Kotlán & David Navrátil & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Communication; It Pays Off to Read Inflation Reports," IMF Working Papers 08/234, International Monetary Fund.
    11. repec:pri:cepsud:161blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    13. Malcolm D. Knight & Chair, 2005. "General discussion : central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 495-505.
    14. Sònia Muñoz & Samir Jahjah & Martin Cihak & Sharika Teh Sharifuddin & Kalin I Tintchev, 2012. "Financial Stability Reports; What Are they Good for?," IMF Working Papers 12/1, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2004. "Is the MPC's Voting Record Informative about Future UK Monetary Policy?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 299-313, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lynge Nielsen, 2013. "How to Classify Countries Based on Their Level of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 1087-1107, December.
    2. Ghimire, Narishwar & Woodward, Richard T., 2013. "Under- and over-use of pesticides: An international analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 73-81.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1324-:d:106293 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ulrich Schmoch & Habib M. Fardoun & Abdulfattah S. Mashat, 2016. "Establishing a World-Class University in Saudi Arabia: intended and unintended effects," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(2), pages 1191-1207, November.
    5. Jha, Jaya & Roe, Terry L., 2016. "U.S. Agricultural Export Competitiveness and Export Market Diversification," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236250, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Cătălina Florentina PRICOPE, 2016. "The role of institutional pressures in developing countries. Implications for IFRS," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(607), S), pages 27-40, Summer.
    7. Yongzheng Yang, 2011. "Global Rebalancing; Implications for Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 11/239, International Monetary Fund.
    8. João Basilio Pereima & Manuela Merki & Fernando Motta Correia, 2016. "Economic Growth And Public Debt: Addressing Unobserved Heterogeneity," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 101, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    9. Malgorzata Zielenkiewicz, 2015. "The Role Of The Level Of Development, Geographical Factors, And Culture For The Efficacy Of Economic Freedom," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 10(4), pages 85-98, December.
    10. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:61-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lee, N.C. & Leal, V.M.S., 2014. "A review of energy planning practices of members of the Economic Community of West African States," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 202-220.
    12. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:1331-1349 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ben Dkhil, Inès, 2014. "Investment in Fixed Broadband Networks and Access Regulation in Developed and Developing countries: Panel Data Applications," MPRA Paper 59337, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Angeon, Valérie & Bates, Samuel, 2015. "Reviewing Composite Vulnerability and Resilience Indexes: A Sustainable Approach and Application," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 140-162.
    15. Auer, Benjamin R. & Hoffmann, Andreas, 2016. "Do carry trade returns show signs of long memory?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 201-208.


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