To consider different aspects of life when measuring human development, the United Nations Development Program introduced the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI is a composite index of socioeconomic indicators that reflect three major dimensions of human development: longevity, knowledge and standard of living. In this paper, the assessment of the HDI is reconsidered in the light of data envelopment analysis (DEA). Instead of a simple rank of the countries, human development is benchmarked on the basis of empirical observations of best practice countries. First, on the same line as HDI, we develop a DEA-like model to assess the relative performance of the countries in human development. Then we extend our calculations with a post-DEA model to derive global estimates of a new development index by using common weights for the socioeconomic indicators. Finally, we introduce the transformation paradigm in the assessment of human development. We develop a DEA model to estimate the relative efficiency of the countries in converting income to knowledge and life opportunities.
human development index data envelopment analysis development