Monitoring Economic and Social Rights in the Pacific

Motu Working Paper 21-10

44 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2021

See all articles by Susan Randolph

Susan Randolph

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics

Shaan Badenhorst

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

John Stewart

Independent

Date Written: August 26, 2021

Abstract

This paper explains and transmits a database and summarises the results of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative’s (HRMI’s) efforts to more fully integrate the 21 Pacific countries (excluding New Zealand and Australia) into HRMI’s economic and social rights (ESR) metrics. It also explores the extent of bias in country scores when per capita Gross National Income (GNI) substantially exceeds per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the potential to expand coverage by substituting constant USD GDP data for constant PPP$ GDP data. The report finds: (1) There are opportunities to substantially improve economic and social right enjoyment in the Pacific even in the absence of per capita income growth, (2) the range in economic and social right performance scores observed across the Pacific countries indicates there is considerable scope for countries to learn from each other what approaches hold promise — countries scoring poorly on one right can look to the policies and structures in place that have enabled other countries to achieve good scores on the same right, (3) in countries whose GNI substantially exceeds their GDP, HRMI’s economic and social rights scores are upward biased, more so, the greater the gap between GNI and GDP, and (4) for those countries without PPP$ per capita income data, the computation of a USD variant of HRMI’s ESR metrics allows one to gain some insight, albeit imperfect, into their economic and social rights performance.

Keywords: Economic Welfare, Efficiency Equity, Well-being, International Law, Economic and social rights, human rights, Pacific countries, Oceania, economic and social rights performance, country studies, economic development, economic and social rights data

JEL Classification: D63, I3, K38, O1, O2

Suggested Citation

Randolph, Susan and Badenhorst, Shaan and Stewart, John, Monitoring Economic and Social Rights in the Pacific (August 26, 2021). Motu Working Paper 21-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3945173 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3945173

Susan Randolph (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Shaan Badenhorst

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

John Stewart

Independent

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