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Inequality in Human Development: An empirical assessment of thirty-two countries

Michael Grimm, Kenneth Harttgen, Stephan Klasen (), Mark Misselhorn, Teresa Munzi and Timothy Smeeding
Additional contact information
Mark Misselhorn: Göttingen University, Germany
Teresa Munzi: Luxembourg Income Study, Luxembourg
Timothy Smeeding: Luxembourg Income Study, Luxembourg

No 6, Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers from Courant Research Centre PEG

Abstract: One of the most frequent critiques of the HDI is that it does not take into account inequality within countries in its three dimensions. In this paper, we apply a simple approach to compute the three components and the overall HDI for quintiles of the income distribution. This allows comparison of the level in human development of the poor with the level of the non-poor within countries, but also across countries. This is an application of the method presented in Grimm et al. (2008) to a sample of 21 low and middle income countries and 11 industrialized countries. In particular the inclusion of the industrialized countries, which were not included in the previous work, implies to deal with a number of additional challenges, which we outline in this paper. Our results show that inequality in human development within countries is high, both in developed and industrialized countries. In fact, the HDI of the lowest quintiles in industrialized countries is often below the HDI of the richest quintile in many middle income countries. We also find, however, a strong overall negative correlation between the level of human development and inequality in human development.

Keywords: Human Development; Income Inequality; Differential Mortality; Inequality in Education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hap and nep-hrm
Date: 2009-07-15
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Related works:
Working Paper: Inequality in human development: an empirical assessment of thirty-two countries (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Inequality in Human Development: An empirical assessment of thirty-two countries (2008) Downloads
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