Country Patterns of Behaviour on Broader Dimensions of Human Development

Date: Oct, 2007
ODID Working Paper No. 154
Author(s): Gustav Ranis, Frances Stewart and Emma Samman

The paper adopts a more expansive definition of Human Development than that encompassed by the Human Development Index and explores alternative patterns of country behavior in terms of this broader definition. We categorize countries according to their behavior on basic human development, and economic, social and political dimensions, and then examine their performance relative to one another and across categories. We identify countries which seem to do particularly well on one dimension and less well on others, or particularly badly on one dimension and better on others, as well as managing to do well on all, or failing to do well on any. The analysis reveals that not all good things go together, i.e., only seven out of 130 countries with data for all four categories were categorized in the same way across categories - while half of the sample exhibited deficiency or superiority in a particular category. The many patterns of behavior indicate that while countries are constrained by history, culture and initial conditions, they also have choices. Even low income countries can achieve well in all categories, and high income countries, poorly.

ODID Author(s)