Geographical Constituents of Human Well-being in Papua New Guinea: A District-level Analysis

64 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2021 Last revised: 24 May 2021

See all articles by Colin Filer

Colin Filer

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Terence Wood

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: February 24, 2021

Abstract

We derive two measures of human well-being from the 2000 national census and seek to establish the relative strength of their association with 12 geographical variables in a comparative study of the 85 partially rural districts of Papua New Guinea. We find that the accessibility of health and education services for rural villagers, along with the proximity of the rural village population to a coastline, are the two geographical variables that have the strongest association with lower child mortality rates and higher school attendance rates. These findings are placed within the context of a broader discussion of ways to improve the measurement of such relationships at a district level in light of the acknowledged failure of the 2011 national census and the possible failure of the national census due to be conducted in 2021. Our findings are also located within the context of a longstanding international debate about the geographical constituents or determinants of human development at a national scale. The distinctive quality of our own contribution to this debate resides in our focus on the measurement of variation between districts within a single country.

This is the first discussion paper in a two paper series involving district-level analysis of human well-being in Papua New Guinea. See also: Filer, C, Fraenkel, J & Wood, T (2021), Institutional Constituents of Human Well-being in Papua New Guinea: A Second District-level Analysis. Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 95, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Canberra, available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3851755.

A codebook and spreadsheet containing measures for all the variables assessed in both discussion papers is available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14456229.


Note: This paper was slightly revised on 10 March 2021.

Keywords: Papua New Guinea, geography, development, well-being, population, census, population-environment trap, poverty-environment trap

JEL Classification: O1, P25, R1

Suggested Citation

Filer, Colin and Wood, Terence, Geographical Constituents of Human Well-being in Papua New Guinea: A District-level Analysis (February 24, 2021). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 92, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3791993 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3791993

Colin Filer (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Terence Wood

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory ACT 0200
Australia

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