World Inequalities in Human Development Index (1980-2012)
Tuesday, 04 February 2014

Time Distance Approach

Gaptimer Report No. 1 ‘World Inequalities in Human Development Index’ presents a new way of understanding and discussing development and world inequalities in a new dynamic framework. This manuscript can expand knowledge in two ways. 

Firstly, it offers an innovative approach for looking at disparities over many units and over time. The new time distance measure, expressed in time units, is easy to understand by everybody and offers a novel way to compare situations in economics, politics, business and statistics. The time distance concept can influence the perception and decisions of people when they are assessing their relative position in their surroundings, in the society and across countries over time.

As Sicherl (1973, 1993) proposes … observed time distance is a dynamic measure of temporal disparity between the two series intuitively clear, readily measurable, and in transparent units. It is suggested that one should complement conventional measures with horizontal measures.’ (Granger and Jeon, 1997)
C.W.J. Granger and Y. Jeon, University of California at San Diego 

Secondly, the empirical results for the Human Development Index over the three decades (1980-2012) provide new insights for the post-2015 agenda. S-time-distance measure (calculations based on official UNDP data) estimates HDI inequalities for each of 187 countries within their peer group. Telling new stories includes inequalities within EU27, BRICS countries, and Gulf Coordination Council countries.

These additional insights provide a transparent matter-of-fact message to politicians and the international community about the degree of urgency to tackle wide inequalities between and within countries in formulating and deciding on the post-2015 agenda. 

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