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Measuring Human Wellbeing And Advancing Sustainable Development: How Credible Are The Undp'S Human Development Reports?

Listed author(s):
  • Chieko Tokuyama
  • J. Ram Pillarisetti
Registered author(s):

    The broad objectives of the Human Development Report (HDR) and the estimates of human wellbeing are to identify policies that reduce poverty, economic and gender inequalities inequalities and increase human wellbeing. Since inception in 1990, the HDR and the methodological and measurement issues relating to the now well known Human Development Index (HDI) have undergone several transformations. This paper empirically looks at reliability of databases from HDRs with a special focus on the estimations methodology and data revisions of the HDI, recent growth trend in HDI and real income. It also looks selectively at major shift in policy directions for sustainable development in the HDRs. This paper notes that the databases in the HDRs exhibit significant measurement errors and inadequacies. The measurement errors are more conspicuous in case of data pertaining to low-income developing countries. This paper also notes that besides database problems, issues relating to policy revisions in the recent Reports raise serious questions of credibility with the Reports.

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    Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 03/06.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
    Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2006-03
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    Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia

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    1. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-243, May.
    2. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
    3. Mark McGillivray & Howard White, 1993. "Measuring development? The UNDP's human development index," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 183-192, 03.
    4. Pillarisetti, J. R. & Radel, Kylie, 2004. "Economic and Environmental Issues in International Trade and Production of Genetically Modified Foods and Crops and the WTO," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 332-352.
    5. Miles Cahill, 2005. "Is the Human Development Index Redundant?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-5, Winter.
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