Human Development Index

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Human Development Index Modern economists have plenty of different tools available to them to look at a country’s development in terms of production such as real GDP. In the more recent years another markers has been developed to analyze more critically the human development rather than the income, called the Human Development Index. This paper is going to provide some more insight into the Human Development Index; its development, the reasons behind it and how it has helped many countries identify problem areas and some of the downfalls of the index. The Human Development Index first appeared in 1990 (UNDP, n.d.). The United Nations Development Program publishes the index as a part of an annual report known as the Human Development Report (UNDP, n.d.). Well known economist Mahbub ul Haq paired up with Amartya Sen were essential in helping bring the concept to life (UNDP, n.d.). "Human development, as an approach, is concerned with what I take to be the basic development idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it." (Amartya Sen, n.d.). Both of the economists were interested in finding a way to gain a better look into how a country doing rather than look at just GDP or other indicators that focuses on wealth. The Human Development Index currently ranks over 187 countries into either having very high, high, medium, and low human development (UNDP, 2011). Currently the index focuses on three main components; life expectancy, education and GNI per capita (UNDP, n.d.). The changes to the way Human Development Index were very recent, only being adopted in 2010. The UN uses the Human Development Report as a tool in order to expand the amount of choices available to people internationally. The Human Development Index was invented “to shift the focus of development
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