Quality & Quantity

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1-34

First online:

Global human development: accounting for its regional disparities

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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 index Substantive and instrumental freedoms Democracy Slavery Corruption Civil disorder National debt Clashes of civilizations Multilevel statistical models Causality