The measurement of economic development : alternative composite indices

Booysen, Frederik Le Roux (2000)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The success of policies aimed at economic development cannot be monitored and evaluated without development indicators. These indicators are also crucial in comparing levels of development across time and space so as to come a greater understanding of the development process. Yet, economic development does not mean the same thing to everyone. As a result, there exists a variety of indicators of economic development. Five main classes of development indicators are distinguished on the basis of the shift over time in our understanding of economic development (Chapter 1). A distinction is drawn between indicators of national income and economic growth (Chapter 3), employment, unemployment and underemployment (Chapter 4), and poverty and inequality (Chapter 5). Social indicators (Chapter 6) and composite indices (Chapter 7) of economic development represent two futher classes of development indicators. These indicators differ in terms of their content, method and technique, comparative application, simplicity, clarity, focus, availability and flexibility. These main classes of development indicators are evaluated with reference to these dimensions of measurement which are described in detail in Chapter 2. There is no one indicator that can be described as an ideal, all encompassing measure of economic development, at least not in terms of its performance on these dimensions of measurement. Hence, the measurement of development remains imperfect, but nonetheless makes an invaluable contribution to the study of economic development. In fact, development studies will be impossible without access to such a variety of development indicators. Given the importance of development indicators in development studies, two new composite indices of development are presented here to address two specific gaps in indicator research. Indices of Human Security (HSIs) and Inefficiency ratios are developed to determine the extent to which countries have made progress on human security as defined by the UNDP (Chapter 8). Progress is assessed in terms of both effort and outcomes, as well as the extent to which efforts are actually translated into outcomes. Indices of Reconstruction and Development (RDIs) are employed to measure the extent to which the nine provinces of South Africa have made progress on the development objectives described in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) (Chapter 9). The measurement results suggest that there remain substantial disparities in progress on both human security and reconstruction and development. These new composite indices are also employed to determine those development characteristics associated with progress on human security and reconstruction and development. So, for example, disparities in human security are associated with certain urban and population dynamics, as well as communications capacity and infrastructural development. Progress on reconstruction and development is associated with lower population pressure, higher matric pass rates, less poverty and inequality, and more political representativeness at the provincial level. The RDIs also underscore the extent to which progress on the RDP has not materialised in rural areas. Furthermore, current provincial disparities in progress on reconstruction and development appear still to be indicative of the racial dynamics of development so characteristic of the Apartheid era.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dit is onmoontlik om sonder ontwikkelingsindikatore die sukses van beleid wat gemik is op ekonomiese ontwikkeling te moniteer of te evalueer. Ontwikkelingsindikatore IS ook onontbeerlik III die vergelyking van ontwikkelingsvlakke oor tyd en ruimte om sodoende 'n beter begrip van die ontwikkelingsproses te verkry. Ekonomiese ontwikkeling het egter nie dieselfde betekenis vir almal nie. Gevolglik bestaan daar 'n verskeidenheid van ontwikkelingsindikatore. Vyf hoofklasse van ontwikkelingsindikatore word onderskei op grond van verskuiwings oor tyd in die interpretasie van ekonomiese ontwikkeling (Hoofstuk 1). 'n Onderskeid word getref tussen maatstawwe van nasionale inkome en ekonomiese groei (Hoofstuk 3), indiensname, werkloosheid en onderindiensname (Hoofstuk 4), en armoede en ongelykheid (Hoofstuk 5). Sosiale indikatore (Hoofstuk 6) en saamgestelde indekse (Hoofstuk 7) van ekonomiese ontwikkeling verteenwoordig twee verdere groepe indikatore. Hierdie indikatore verskil in terme van hul inhoud, metode en tegniek, vergelykende toepassing, eenvoud, duidelikheid, fokus, beskikbaarheid en buigsaamheid. Hierdie hoofklasse van ontwikkelingsindikatore word geëvalueer met verwysing na hierdie dimensies van meting, wat in groter besonderhede in Hoofstuk 2 bespreek word. Daar is nie een indikator wat beskryfkan word as 'n ideale, allesomvattende maatstafvan ekonomiese ontwikkeling nie, ten minste nie in terme van die prestasie daarvan op hierdie dimensies van meting nie. Gevolglik is die meting van ekonomiese ontwikkeling onvolmaak, alhoewel dit 'n onskatbare bydrae lewer tot die studie van ekonomiese ontwikkeling. Om die waarheid te sê, ontwikkelingstudies salonmoontlik wees sonder toegang tot so 'n verskeidenheid van ontwikkelingsindikatore. Gegewe die belangrikheid van ontwikkelingsmaatstawwe In ontwikkelingstudies, word twee nuwe saamgestelde indekse hier aangebied om twee spesifieke gapings in navorsing oor ontwikkelingsmaatstawwe aan te spreek. Indekse van Menslike Sekuriteit (MSls) en Ondoeltreffendheidsratio's word ontwikkelom te bepaal tot watter mate lande vordering gemaak het in menslike sekuriteit, soos definieer deur die UNDP (Hoofstuk 8). Vordering word gemeet in terme van sowel pogings en uitkomste as die mate waartoe pogings werklik in uitkomste omskep word. In Hoofstuk 9 word Indekse van Heropbou en Ontwikkeling (HOIs) gebruik om te meet tot watter mate die nege provinsies in Suid-Afrika vordering gemaak het in die bereiking van die ontwikkelingsdoelwitte wat uitgespel word in die Heropbou- en Ontwikkelingsprogram (HOP). Die metingsresultate dui daarop dat daar wesenlike ongelykhede bestaan in beide menslike sekuriteit en heropbou en ontwikkeling. Hierdie nuwe saamgestelde indekse word ook gebruik om te bepaal met watter ontwikkelingskenmerke ongelykhede in menslike sekuriteit en heropbou en ontwikkeling geassosieer word. So, byvoorbeeld, toon dispariteite in menslike sekuriteit 'n verband met sowel stedelike en bevolkingsdinamika as kapasiteit in kommunikasie en infrastruktuur. Vordering in heropbou en ontwikkeling word ook geassosieer met laer bevolkingsdruk, beter matrikulasieresultate, minder armoede en inkomste-ongelykheid, en wyer politieke verteenwoordiging op provinsiale vlak. Die indekse beklemtoon ook die mate waartoe vordering met die HOP nog nie in landelike gebiede gematerialiseer het nie. Verder wil dit voorkom asof huidige provinsiale ongelykhede in vordering met heropbou en ontwikkeling steeds kenmerkend is van die rasse-dinamika agter ontwikkeling wat so kenmerkend was van die Apartheidsera.

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