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Unformatted text preview: ndex (HDI) is intended as an alternative to
GNP to measure human development. It is reported yearly in the United Nations’ Human Development Report. The HDI does not equate development
with economic growth. The Report states, “The concept of human development provides an alternative to the view of development equated exclusively
with economic growth. Human development focuses on people.” 135 HDI
takes into account “three basic dimensions of human development—longevity,
knowledge and a decent standard of living. It is measured by life expectancy,
educational attainment . . . and adjusted income.”136 Figure 7.7 illustrates
that there is not a perfect correlation between GNP and HDI. In fact, these
two measures differ significantly in a number of cases. Another measure, the
Human Progress Indicator for the LDCs, is similar to the HDI, but also adds
an element of equity by looking at the percentage of people without access to
water and health services and the percentage of underweight children. 137
Other variants on these themes take into account other dimensions of human
life, such as gender equality (for example, the Gender-Related Development
Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure). Unfortunately, the HDI does
not include an environmental element or an equity element.
The Sustainable National Income (SNI) is a measure used to compare actual levels of economic activity with “sustainable” levels of activity.138 By taking additional costs into account, such as costs of environmental restoration
and of developing alternatives to natural resources, the measure adjusts national income statistics. While higher consumption levels lead to traditionally
“better” statistics, the SNI accounts for the environmentally degrading effects
of some consumption. For example, “Consumption patterns in the West . . .
includ[ing] consuming large amounts of meat, heating the whole house, extensive use of vehicles, and consuming summer vegetables in winter . . . overburden the environment.”139 These activities raise the GNP, but lower the
SNI. Despite the SNI’s inclusion of an environmental component,...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.
- Fall '08
- The Land