Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Human Development

I was looking at some different stuff by following a wiki trail and came across something called the Human Development Index. It is used to rate countries. It has the usual expected countries in the top. The USA comes in at #13 with a .956 score for instance.

What surprised me were the following countries that rated above .900.
#31 Kuwait 0.916
#33 Qatar 0.910
#35 United Arab Emirates 0.903

Compare them to Israel which ranks #27 with a 0.935 score.

So what got me started looking into this? I wanted to know how Iraq was doing. Iraq did not give sufficient information to be HDI rated. But there are some clues. Per capita income on a Purchasing Power Parity scale is $3,655. Not bad. On a strict dollar basis the number is $2,195.

We do know that a GDP per capita of around $3K to $5K a year is the region of transition. The environment becomes a priority. Self government becomes a priority. On a PPP scale Iraq is in the zone. What do they need to get on a solid footing (rather than a shaky footing that being in the transition zone implies)? About 10 years of 10% a year growth. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be done? It all depends on the resoluteness of their American ally. Can America be counted on? South Vietnam still casts a long shadow on that question.

4 comments:

99% said...

Only 10 years away from true prosperity??? Well, if that's the case then I vote to send Msimon over to Iraq on a permanent basis so that he can fully partake in the economic recovery. You certainly deserve it!

Oh, one last thing: what is your hat size? I know its in the 99.99th percentile, and I'd hate for your free kevlar helmet to come out on the small side.

Roga said...

I was surprised to watch a graph on GapMinder that showed Iraq's GDP/c was several times higher before the Hussein regime and the Iran war. In other words, they were there in 1980.

Also, I find the HDI to be an extremely questionable statistic. Being a UN statistic, it tends to weight government spending for the sake of government spending.

M. Simon said...

Roga,

The ratings roughly correspond to what you would expect so I do not think it is a bad metric. Better ones could be devised but the one we have is not too bad.

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