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The human development index: a response to Klugman, Rodriguez and Choi


Each year, the mass media and many governments look keenly at the country rankings by the Human Development Index (HDI), as published in the annual Human Development Reports (HDR). Klugman, Rodriguez and Choi (KRC) were members of the team that produced the 20th anniversary edition of the HDR (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2010) which introduced a new version of this popular index. However, Ravallion (2010) argued that the new HDI has a number of undesirable features, some shared with the old index and some new. This note responds to the points made by KRC (J Econ Inequality 9(2):249–288, 2011) in their defense of the new HDI.1

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Correspondence to Martin Ravallion.

Additional information

KRC also discuss other new indices introduced by the 2010 HDR. One of these is a “Multidimensional Poverty Index” that I have commented on in the last issue of this journal [5].

These are the views of the author and need not reflect those of the World Bank, its Executive Directors, or the countries they represent.

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Ravallion, M. The human development index: a response to Klugman, Rodriguez and Choi. J Econ Inequal 9, 475 (2011).

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  • Human development
  • Tradeoffs
  • Weights
  • Longevity
  • Schooling