Overview and Concluding Remarks
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This chapter contains a brief overview of the research reported in this monograph. It also compares the development ranking rule developed here with those in the existing literature on the subject. It does not aspire to present an exhaustive survey of all ranking rules. The purpose here is only to highlight the basic differences of approach. We discuss the rankings obtained from the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Better Life Index (BLI). We also refer to a number of other ranking rules proposed by academic researchers. It is seen that most of the specific indices that have been suggested violate one or more of the conditions (discussed in this book) that one wishes to impose on the way multidimensional inequality and development is measured. More fundamentally, the choice of any specific index of overall development inevitably faces the criticism of arbitrariness since different indices lead to different rankings and one is left wondering as to which of these should be considered to be the true ranking. The chapter concludes the discussion by noting that there seems to be a trade-off between the requirement of completeness of the development ranking and that of its robustness with respect to choice among the underlying development induces. Informally, therefore, a development ranking approach (such as the one suggested in this book) that focuses on the requirement of robustness can be considered to be complementary to the methods (focusing on complete rankings) that appear in a major part of the existing literature.
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