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The Human Value Index


  • Christian Zimmermann

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)


The Human Development Index (HDI), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, is widely accepted as a metric for the development of economies that can be compared through time and space. This index is a weighted combination of income per capita, life expectancy and education indicators. These weights have been set without any theoretical or empirical rationale. This paper's goal is to reinterpret the data used in the HDI is a way that has economic meaning, not just by determining some optimal weights, but rather by compute the value a citizen would get from being born and living in a particular country. This Human Value Index (HVI) is then compared to the HDI. We also compute the Inequality-adjusted HVI corresponding to the Inequality-adjusted HDI.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Zimmermann, 2013. "The Human Value Index," 2013 Meeting Papers 1106, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1106

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    2. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
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