Beyond the HDI? Assessing alternative measures of human development from a capability perspective

By Flavio Comim

This paper explores how the human development perspective can be enlarged by further using the capability approaches of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. It delves into the main characteristics of their contributions, highlighting the role of social choice and normative exercises in human development evaluations. The paper examines alternative measures of human development, including subjective indicators, goals-based indicators, sustainability indicators, and comprehensive and specific indicators of human development. Finally, the paper suggests guidelines for building human development indicators from a capability perspective. It concludes neither by advocating a replacement of the Human Development Index (HDI) nor by suggesting new dimensions or indicators. Instead, it puts forward a different methodology for building and analysing human development indicators.

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