Would you love to learn a new way of understanding and discussing development and world inequalities in a new dynamic framework? This manuscript expands your knowledge in two ways.
Firstly, you master 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.
Secondly, the empirical results for the Human Development Index over the three decades (1980-2012) give you 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.
Potential users of this methodology and results are international and national organizations, NGOs, experts, businesses, managers, educators, students, interest groups, media, and the general public at various levels.
There are two summary messages. Firstly, the new generic time distance approach, which is easy to understand and to communicate, offers a new view of reality that significantly complements existing mostly static measures of inequality in many fields. Well-being and development are multidimensional and long-term phenomena; people compare and assess their positions over many dimensions and over time. The theoretical concept of time distance dimension of inequality and the innovative two generic statistical measures S-time-distance and S-time-step present a very useful approach to complement (not replace) the existing mostly static measures of inequality in many fields.
'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 time matrices presenting visualisation of the development in the analysed period 1980-2012 for the HDI and three component indices for the four human development groups, for five Central European countries, for six BRICS countries, and for six GCC countries, showed different ordering of the level and the dynamics of the three HDI component indices. The statistical results indicated that for the HDI (and also for life expectancy) the static differences in percentage terms in many cases appear to be small, while the time distance dimension gives a very different perception of the magnitude of the gap. For instance, the level of life expectancy in China in 2012 is less than 10% lower than in Sweden; the time distance amounts to 48 years, as the level of China in 2012 was already achieved in Sweden in 1964. This is an additional dimension to assess the reality by applying the novel statistical methodology showing that disparities are very persuasive and a long-standing phenomenon.
These additional insights have also 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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About the Author
Earlier he was working for Harvard University Development Advisory Service, Yugoslav Institute of Economic Research, received Senior Fulbright Research Award (Yale), visiting schoolar London School of Economics, Institute of World Economics (Kiel), Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna), consultant to the World Bank, OECD, UN, ILO, ITU.