Quality & Quantity

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1–34

Global human development: accounting for its regional disparities


DOI: 10.1007/s11135-007-9155-6

Cite this article as:
Smith, R.B. Qual Quant (2009) 43: 1. doi:10.1007/s11135-007-9155-6


This study’s multilevel statistical models quantify the effects of civilization zones and instrumental factors on the capacities for human agency that a country provides its citizens. These capacities are measured by the UN’s human development index, which synthesizes measures of literacy, longevity, and income. Indicators of political democracy, slavery, national debt, corruption, and internal conflict gauge the instrumental factors. Political freedom and emancipative employment coupled with civil order account for the regional differences in human development scores; civilization zones, heavily indebted poor countries, and corruption influence the variability among countries within the regions.


Human development indexSubstantive and instrumental freedomsDemocracySlaveryCorruptionCivil disorderNational debtClashes of civilizationsMultilevel statistical modelsCausality

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Structural Research Inc.CambridgeUSA