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Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (HDI)

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  • Sabina Alkire and James Foster

Abstract

This paper proposes a method for adjusting the HDI to reflect the distribution of human development achievements across the population, and across dimensions, using an inequality measure from the Atkinson family. We begin with a discussion of the proposed indices in an idealized setting where variables and their scales have been identified and the data are available. We then address the practical issues that arise when applying these methods to real data. The final section presents and evaluates another related approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabina Alkire and James Foster, 2010. "Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (HDI)," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp037, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp037
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    File URL: http://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/pdf/ophiwp/OPHIWP037.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grimm, Michael & Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Misselhorn, Mark, 2008. "A Human Development Index by Income Groups," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2527-2546, December.
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    7. Fields, Gary S., 1994. "Data for measuring poverty and inequality changes in the developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 87-102, June.
    8. James Foster & Luis Lopez-Calva & Miguel Szekely, 2005. "Measuring the Distribution of Human Development: methodology and an application to Mexico," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25.
    9. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
    10. Michela Nardo & Michaela Saisana & Andrea Saltelli & Stefano Tarantola & Anders Hoffman & Enrico Giovannini, 2005. "Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2005/3, OECD Publishing.
    11. Dowrick, Steve & Dunlop, Yvonne & Quiggin, John, 2003. "Social indicators and comparisons of living standards," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 501-529, April.
    12. Krishna Mazumdar, 2003. "A New Approach to Human Development Index," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 535-549.
    13. Laurens Cherchye & Wim Moesen & Tom Puyenbroeck, 2004. "Legitimately Diverse, yet Comparable: On Synthesizing Social Inclusion Performance in the EU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5), pages 919-955, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2013. "A Cross-country Causal Panorama of Human Development and Sustainability," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 235-251, May.
    2. repec:spr:soinre:v:135:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1484-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 249-288, June.
    4. Koen Decancq, 2017. "Measuring Multidimensional Inequality in the OECD Member Countries with a Distribution-Sensitive Better Life Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 1057-1086, April.
    5. Farrahi Moghaddam, Reza & Farrahi Moghaddam, Fereydoun & Cheriet, Mohamed, 2013. "A modified GHG intensity indicator: Toward a sustainable global economy based on a carbon border tax and emissions trading," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 363-380.
    6. Issaka Dialga, 2016. "L'Indice du Développement Humain ou l'indice monétaire de développement ? Evidences par l’Analyse en Composantes Principales," Working Papers hal-01308724, HAL.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:153-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hill, Ronald Paul & Capella, Michael L., 2014. "Impoverished consumers, Catholic social teaching, and distributive justice," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 32-41.
    9. UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, "undated". "Inequality, Gender and Human Development in Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2017-12, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    10. Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 289-314, June.
    11. Debora Scarpato, 2013. "La misurazione della sostenibilità: alcune esperienze internazionali," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(1), pages 55-76.
    12. A. D. Tevar & H. M. Aelion & M. A. Stang & J. Mendlovic, 2016. "The need for universal metrics in the energy-water-food nexus," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 6(1), pages 225-230, March.
    13. Permanyer, Iñaki, 2013. "Using Census Data to Explore the Spatial Distribution of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-13.
    14. Reza Farrahi Moghaddam & Fereydoun Farrahi Moghaddam & Mohamed Cheriet, 2014. "IIGHGINT: A generalization to the modified GHG intensity universal indicator toward a production/consumption insensitive border carbon tax," Papers 1401.0301, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2014.
    15. Gebregziabher, Fiseha & Nino-Zarazua, 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).
    16. Daniele, Vittorio & Malanima, Paolo, 2016. "Trends in Mediterranean Inequalities 1950-2015," MPRA Paper 78324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Rita Silva & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, 2014. "A Regional Development Index for Portugal," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 1055-1085, September.
    18. Peter Krause, 2015. "Quality of Life and Inequality," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 765, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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