Measuring development? a statistical critique of the UNDP's human development index

Mark McGillivray, Howard White

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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In its Human Development report 1990, the UNDP proposed its now well-known Human Development Index (HDI). A subsequent version of this index appeared in the UNDP's 1991 report. The index is a composite indicator of development, comprising measures of longevity, educational attainment and material living standards. This paper critically examine both versions of the HDI, concluding that its treatment of income is inappropriate; its year-on-year comparability is limited; it is robust with respect to measurement error; and that its contribution to the assessment of development levels differs markedly among country groups.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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