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Is High Gdp Growth Enough?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.8 
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Back in 1990, Indian Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen along with Pakistani economist Mahbub Ul Haq developed an index to measure the overall impact of a country’s economic policies on the quality of life of its citizens.

The index which came to be known as the Human Development Index (HDI) measures the life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide. Furthermore, it is also used to indicate whether the country is a developed, developing or an undeveloped nation.

Last month, the United Nations Development Programme compiled and published its 2007/2008 Human Development Report, based on data and statistics collected worldwide. The findings revealed a contrast in the quality of life between high performing Asian economies and moderate performing European economies, with Asians trailing far behind.

The findings once again highlighted the fact, that despite strong robust economic growth across the region, Asian nations are way behind their Europeans counterparts when it comes down to the bottom line that really matters- the quality of life of its citizens.

Asian economic giants, China and India have been enjoying one of the highest economic growths in the world for the past couple of years. According to the GDP figures released by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank based on purchasing power parity, China and India are the world’s second and third largest economies respectively. Yet, these high economic growth figures are not reflected in the report published by the UNDP.

Based on the HDI rankings in the report, China are a lowly 81st on the list while India is worse at 128th in the world when it comes to the overall quality of life and well being of its citizens. This suggests the fact that even though the economies of these two nations are expanding at robust rates, the economic boom has not been passed on to its citizens especially those at...


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