Reflections on the Human Development Index. James Foster George Washington University and OPHI. 2 nd Conference on Measuring Human Progress 4-5 March 2013, New York. Introduction. HDI Remarkable accomplishment Attracted criticism A rbitrary decisions Purpose of this short talk
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Reflections on the Human Development Index
James FosterGeorge Washington University and OPHI
2nd Conference on Measuring Human Progress
4-5 March 2013, New York
(Ia) It must understandable and easy to describe
(Ib) It must conform to a common sense notion of what is being measured
(II) It must fit the purpose for which it is being developed
(III) It must be technically solid
(IVa) It must be operationallyviable
(IVb) It must be easily replicable
Original Variables
Original
Variable 2
natural zero
Original Variable 1
natural zero
Net Variables
Net Variable x2
0
Net Variable x1
0
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
New HDI
Net Variable x2
Wx = x11/2x21/2
Aspiration level
x
WA
Wx
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
New HDI
Net Variable x2
HDIN = Wx/WA
Aspiration level
x
WA
Wx
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
New HDI
Net Variable x2
HDIN = Wx/WA
Aspiration level
x
WA
Wx
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
New HDI
Net Variable x2
HDIN = Wx/WA
Only uses reference level WA
x
WA
Wx
0
Net Variable x1
0
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
Set the slope of HDIO indifference
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
Set the slope of HDIO indifference
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
What if aspiration levels change?
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
What if aspiration levels change?
Slopes change - inconsistent
Aspiration level
0
0
Net Variable x1
Old
Aspiration level
New
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
Always?
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
Slope unchanged if new
levels are proportionate
Slope unchanged if new
levels are proportionate
Aspiration level
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level
Upper Goalposts: Aspiration Levels
Net Variable x2
HDIO = Wx/WA
Aspiration level
x
WA
Wx
0
Net Variable x1
0
Aspiration level