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A statistical approach to identifying poorly performing countries

Edward Anderson () and Oliver Morrissey ()

Journal of Development Studies, 2006, vol. 42, issue 3, 469-489

Abstract: This paper asks whether it is possible to identify, using purely statistical criteria on widely available quantitative data, a set of developing countries that can be classified as poor performers. We restrict attention to two performance indicators, economic growth and infant mortality, over two periods 1980-90 and 1990-2000, and use four different statistical criteria to identify poor performance. The main finding is that very few countries consistently appear as poor performers: those that perform poorly on one indicator, or in one period, typically do not perform poorly on/in the other. A similar result is obtained in the context of identifying, on statistical grounds, good performers. The research cautions against labelling countries as poor performers without careful qualification.

Date: 2006
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DOI: 10.1080/00220380600576375

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Journal of Development Studies is currently edited by Howard White, Oliver Morrissey and Ken Shadlen

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