Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) Working Paper No. 37

United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report Office Background Paper No. 2010/2

24 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011 Last revised: 27 Jul 2012

See all articles by Sabina Alkire

Sabina Alkire

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

James E. Foster

George Washington University

Date Written: July 1, 2010

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.

Keywords: Human Development Index, inequality, multidimensional inequality measurement, capability approach, multidimensional welfare

JEL Classification: I0, D63, O15, I3

Suggested Citation

Alkire, Sabina and Foster, James E., Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (July 1, 2010). Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) Working Paper No. 37, United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report Office Background Paper No. 2010/2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1815248 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1815248

Sabina Alkire (Contact Author)

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

James E. Foster

George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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