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Keeping things simple: Why the Human Development Index should not diverge from its equal weights assumption

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lee Stapleton, Professor Guy Garrod


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Using a range of statistical criteria rooted in Information Theory we show that there is little justification for relaxing the equal weights assumption underlying the United Nation's Human Development Index (HDI) even if the true HDI diverges significantly from this assumption. Put differently, the additional model complexity that unequal weights add to the HDI more than counteracts the improvement in goodness-of-fit. This suggests that, in some cases, there may be limited validity in increasing the complexity of a range of other composite sustainability indices. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stapleton LM, Garrod GD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Social Indicators Research

Year: 2007

Volume: 84

Issue: 2

Pages: 179-188

Print publication date: 01/11/2007

ISSN (print): 0303-8300

ISSN (electronic): 1573-0921

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1007/s11205-006-9081-3


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