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Robust human development rankings

  • Laurens Cherchye

    ()

  • Erwin Oghe

    ()

  • Tom Van Puyenbroeck

    ()

The United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI) takes several dimensions ---income, school enrolment and literacy rate, longevity--- and combines them into a single figure that measures the degree of development of a given country. However, there is disagreement about (i) how to normalize the scores for the different criteria to make them comparable and (ii) how to aggregate the (normalized) scores over the different criteria. At the risk of stressing the obvious, changes in normalization and/or aggregation will affect the country rankings. First, we focus on robust rankings, i.e., rankings which hold for a wide set of normalization and/or aggregation procedures. Second, we show that all proposed ranking procedures can be implemented via linear programming techniques. Third, we illustrate how our methodology can prove useful in assessing the robustness of the human development country ranking/classification (produced annually by the United Nations) in a descriptive and statistical way.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.ac.be/ew/academic/econover/Papers/DPS0516.pdf
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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics in its series Public Economics Working Paper Series with number ces0516.

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Length: 39 pp.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpe:papers:ces0516
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  1. Guido Luchters & Lukas Menkhoff, 2000. "Chaotic signals from HDI measurement," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 267-270.
  2. Shoutir Kishore Chatterjee, 2005. "Measurement of Human Development: an alternative approach," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 31-44.
  3. Krishna Mazumdar, 2003. "A New Approach to Human Development Index," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 535-549.
  4. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagnere, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2003. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 309-336, June.
  7. Kalpana Bardhan & Stephan Klasen, 1998. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1998-03, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Nickelsburg, Gerald, 1988. "Multivariate Measures of Well-Being and an Analysis of Inequality in the Michigan Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 326-34, July.
  11. Ramakrushna Panigrahi & Sashi Sivramkrishna, 2002. "An Adjusted Human Development Index: Robust Country Rankings with Respect to the Choice of Fixed Maximum and Minimum Indicator Values," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 301-311.
  12. Satya R. Chakravarty, 2003. "A Generalized Human Development Index," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 99-114, February.
  13. 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.
  14. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
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