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Sustainability and human development: a proposal for a sustainability adjusted HDI (SHDI)

  • Pineda, Jose

This paper proposes a sustainability-adjusted HDI in which country’s achievements in human development are penalized, to reflect the over-exploitation of the environment and its relative intensity. The human development approach has been a powerful framework in the past for advancing the measurement of human progress. Today, this approach can help us make more explicit the profound connections between current and future generations’ choices by offering a framework for understanding sustainability that connects inter- and intra-generational equity with global justice. The analysis shows that there are important global sustainability challenges ahead since there are 79 (out of 118) countries with at least one indicator above the planetary boundary. There are 17 countries that lost at least one position in their HDI ranking after adjusting for sustainability. Between these countries, however, the countries that experience the largest drop in ranking were 37 positions for the United States, 26 positions for China, and 17 positions for the Russian Federation.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39656.

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Date of creation: 19 Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39656
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  1. Richard S.J. Tol, 2007. "The Social Cost Of Carbon: Trends, Outliers And Catastrophes," Working Papers FNU-144, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Aug 2007.
  2. Stephen Morse, 2003. "Greening the United Nations' Human Development Index?," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 183-198.
  3. Partha Dasgupta, 2009. "The Welfare Economic Theory of Green National Accounts," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 3-38, January.
  4. Snorre Kverndokk & Adam Rose, 2008. "Equity and Justice in Global Warming Policy," Working Papers 2008.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Susana Ferreira & Kirk Hamilton & Jeffrey R. Vincent, 2008. "Comprehensive Wealth and Future Consumption: Accounting for Population Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 233-248, May.
  6. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Verbruggen, Harmen, 1999. "Spatial sustainability, trade and indicators: an evaluation of the 'ecological footprint'," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 61-72, April.
  7. Anand, Sudhir & Sen, Amartya, 2000. "Human Development and Economic Sustainability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2029-2049, December.
  8. Eric Neumayer, 2011. "Sustainability and Inequality in Human Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-04, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  9. Kirk Hamilton & Giovanni Ruta, 2009. "Wealth Accounting, Exhaustible Resources and Social Welfare," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 53-64, January.
  10. Valeria Costantini & Salvatore Monni, 2005. "Sustainable Human Development for European Countries," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 329-351.
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