HDI (Human Development Index)

January 17, 2008

HDI (Human Development Index)

The HDI is comprised of three equally weighted sub-indices: a life expectancy index (based on life expectancy at birth), an education index (based on adult literacy, school enrollment and university enrollment), and a GDP index (based on GDP per capita in US dollars at purchasing power parity) (Leigh and Wolfers 2005).

The authors compare how subjective states such as happiness, satisfaction, with life which depend on qualia (folk psychology) can be used as datasets to decide the ranking of countries in terms of Human Development not just Economic Development. Different studies use different datasets. Eg, World Values Survey (Leigh and Wolfers 2005).

The GDP as economic measure was considered by some to be inadequate. Amartya Sen developed alternative indicators for measuring human development called the “capabilities approach” and the Human Development Index (HDI) . His work was honoured with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1998. In his speech he noted that social choice relating social judgments and group decisions to the views and interests of the individuals who make up the society or the complex, heterogenous group we speak of when we say “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Selected Bibliography

Leigh, Andrew, Wolfers, Justin. 2005. Critique of Blanchflower and Oswald (2005) “Happiness and the Human Development Index: Australia Is Not a Paradox,” The Australian Economic Review, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 176–84. http://econrsss.anu.edu.au/~aleigh/pdf/CommentBlanchflowerOswald.pdf

Sen, Amartya. 1998. “The Possibility of Social Choice: Nobel Prize Lecture to the memory of Alfred Nobel.” The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences.  December 8, 1998. 

The authors compare how subjective states such as happiness, satisfaction, with life which depend on qualia (folk psychology) can be used as datasets to decide the ranking of countries in terms of Human Development not just Economic Development. Different studies use different datasets. Eg, World Values Survey

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One Response to “HDI (Human Development Index)”


  1. […] and the human development Index: Australia Is Not a Paradox,??? The Australian Economic …https://papergirls.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/hdi-human-development-index/Human development index – Psychology WikiThis page has many interlocking templates which make it […]


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