Saturday, July 24, 2010

QUB Working Paper - Is Human Development Multidimensional?

Is human development multi-dimensional? 1


† UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health, School of Management, Queens University, Belfast
BT7 1NN. (email -

‡ Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, 

July 2nd, 2010

Stiglitz’s Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (CMEPSP) argued that well-being is multidimensional and identified eight distinct dimensions.  Conventional linear techniques confirm that a large number of dimensions are needed to describe development.  In contrast, a new non-linear technique which we introduce from chaos theory shows that a smaller number of dimensions are needed to span the development space.  We go on to show that the three domains covered in the United Nations Human Development Index are sub- optimal and a number of additional variables are required though not as many as the CMEPSP report suggests.
JEL Classification: I32, O10, O15

Keywords: development, well-being, dimension, measure, indicator.

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