References (237)



Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View

Leandro Prados de la Escosura

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

September 2010

CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7982

The pessimistic flavour of the Human Development Reports appears to be in contradiction with their own numbers as developing countries fare comparatively better in human development than in per capita GDP terms. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by providing a new, 'improved' human development index [IHDI], informed by welfare economics. The IHDI is presented here alongside the UNDP's HDI for the world and its main regions since the late nineteenth century. Social dimensions in the IHDI are derived, following Kakwani (1993), with a convex achievement function, while a geometric average is employed to combine its dimensions (longevity, knowledge, and income). Thus, the IHDI does not conceal the gap between rich and poor countries and casts a much less optimistic view than the conventional UNDP index, while fits with the UNDP concern for international differences. The paper's findings highlight main weaknesses in human development dimensions of present-day developing countries.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Keywords: Education, Human Development, Life Expectancy, Per Capita GDP

JEL Classification: I00, N30, O15, O50

Date posted: November 14, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View (September 2010). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7982. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1707852

Contact Information

Leandro Prados de la Escosura (Contact Author)
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )
CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
+34916249623 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.uc3m.es/portal/page/portal/dpto_historia_economica_inst/home/faculty/leandro_prados_escos
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