An Analysis of the Evolution of the Human Development Index with Special Reference to Its Income Component
Author: Ravi Kant Bhatnagar
The author has reviewed methodology followed by the UNDP's Human Development Reports from beginning till the latest Report particularly with reference to its treatment given to income component in the computation of Human Development Index for various countries. A closer look has been taken on Atkinson based formulation of utility function adopted by UNDP in the Human Development Reports during 1991 to 1998 for discounting or adjusting the income levels (real GDP per capita in countries), exceeding a threshold level of income.An alternative multi-step formulation of the utility function is proposed, as a substitute for the Atkinson based approach, without sacrificing the premise of threshold income level which happened to be a concept strongly advocated by UNDP from 1991 to 1998 but suddenly dropped thereafter due to trivial reasons. The proposed alternative formulation is shown to be better than the Atkinson based formulation. The impact of our proposed multi-step utility function on the previous rankings of HDRs is assessed for different countries of the world.
Gas Extraction and Its Implication for Economic Sustainability of Bangladesh
Author: AHM Mustain Billah Md. Abdul Aziz Khan
Natural gas in Bangladesh currently is a very hot issue that deserves considerable discussion. Its reserve is very debatable agenda. It is officially reported that the gas reserve in Bangladesh is around 12 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) that plays a very vital role in economic development of the country. In order to sustain the economic growth in respect of rapidly depletable gas resource, two issues need urgent attention - to invest some of the resource rent in alternative sectors and to ascertain the amount to be invested. The study attempted to examine the effects of gas resource extraction on sustainable consumption for maintaining better standard of living. A model for estimating gas resource depletion of Bangladesh is developed then used to make necessary adjustment with sectoral GDP that reflected the efforts of resource extraction.The study revealed that the trend of resource depletion has some implications that can affect the trade off between current and future resource rents. Future rents will decline, if the current stock of resources is extracted quite excessively. The trend of the Adjusted Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) appreciated when the resource was valued at an official price (low price). This signifies that the real value of resource was undermined inducing more resource to be extracted. A reversed scenario was observed when the resource was valued at a border price. But after 1996 onward under both the prices the trend of AGDP was declining indicating the unsustainability of the economy. The urgent attention is needed for investing some of the resource rent in alternative sectors to protect the gas based downstream industries for economic sustainability.