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Healthy Human Development Indices

In the Human Development Index (HDI), life expectancy is the only indicator used in modeling the dimension ‘a long and healthy life’. Whereas life expectancy is a direct measure of quantity of life, it is only an indirect measure of healthy years lived. In this paper we attempt to remedy this omission by introducing into the HDI the morbidity indicator, “expected lost healthy years” (LHE), used in the World Health Report Though LHE is only weakly correlated with life expectancy and displays considerable variation across countries, the ranking of nations using the adjusted HDI is very similar to that from the HDI. Nevertheless, there are some outlier countries (including large countries like China and the United States) that experience notable changes in rank. Given the considerable variation in the morbidity data across gender, we also adjust the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) in a similar fashion. The ranking using the adjusted GDI is very similar to that from the GDI, but it has a lower rank correlation with the HDI.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Victoria in its series Department Discussion Papers with number 1001.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 08 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vic:vicddp:1001
Note: ISSN 1914-2838
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  1. Miles Cahill, 2005. "Is the Human Development Index Redundant?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-5, Winter.
  2. Kanbur, Ravi & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2007. "Poverty, Relative to the Ability to Eradicate It: An Index of Poverty Reduction Failure," Working Papers 126998, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  3. Tsuchiya, Aki & Williams, Alan, 2005. "A "fair innings" between the sexes: are men being treated inequitably?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 277-286, January.
  4. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
  5. Krishna Mazumdar, 2003. "A New Approach to Human Development Index," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 535-549.
  6. Merwan Engineer & Ian King & Nilanjana Roy, 2008. "The Human Development Index as a Criterion for Optimal Planning," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1041, The University of Melbourne.
  7. R. Roberge & J-M. Berthelot & K. Cranswick, 1999. "Adjusting Life Expectancy to Account for Disability in a Population: A Comparison of Three Techniques," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 219-245, October.
  8. Anand, Sudhir & Hanson, Kara, 1997. "Disability-adjusted life years: a critical review," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 685-702, December.
  9. Arnesen, Trude & Kapiriri, Lydia, 2004. "Can the value choices in DALYs influence global priority-setting?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 137-149, November.
  10. Anand, Sudhir & Hanson, Kara, 1998. "DALYs: efficiency versus equity," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 307-310, February.
  11. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 1994. "Human development Index: Methodology and Measurement," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1994-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  12. Achin Chakraborty & Udaya Mishra, 2003. "Making Inter-country Comparison of Life Expectancy Inequality Sensitive," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 191-208, November.
  13. Farhad Noorbakhsh, 1998. "The human development index: some technical issues and alternative indices," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 589-605.
  14. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2005. "How Should We Measure The "Economic" Aspects Of Well-Being? ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 311-336, 06.
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