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Changes in Human Development in Developing Countries: An Empirical Assessment

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For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

Based on data from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, a sample of 29 developing economies was used. The finding is that cross-country changes in human development may be explained by per capita GDP growth, the length of land boundaries, the percentage of children under age 5 whose weight is more than two standard deviations below the median for the international reference population ages 0-59 months, the under-5 mortality rate, the ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education, the prevalence of HIV, the national average distance to the capital city, and the income share held by the lowest 10% of population. As observed, the coefficient estimates of three independent variables do not have the anticipated sign due to the severe degree of multicollinearity among statistically significant explanatory variables. Data for all variables are from the 2010 World Development Indicators and the 2009 Human Development Report. The least-squares estimation technique in a multivariate linear regression was applied. As noted, the severe degree of multicollinearity among explanatory variables may have caused their coefficient estimates to have the wrong sign.

Affiliations: 1: Eastern Illinois University, Department of Economics Charleston, Illinois USA, Email:


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