HEWI: Human Economic Welfare Index Country Studies

Human Economic Welfare Index (HEWI) is a composite index that focuses on the economic dimension of human welfare. This approach can be fairly criticized as too narrow, since it gives less prominence to the issue of long term sustainability than alternatives such as GPI and ISEW. We acknowledge the validity of the criticism, but argue that an index is a tool whose ultimate value must be judged by its utility. Other indices may offer greater insight, but their inherent complexity and subjectivity as well as the difficulty in obtaining data diminishes their value as a tool for policy-making and international comparisons.
This index has been constructed with the following objectives: each component indicator should be reliable, easily and promptly available, sensitive, robust, and uniquely related to its own objective; the components should be incorporated in the composite index in such a manner that there is no cancellation; and in contrast to more comprehensive composite indicators, the number of sub-indices should be kept to the minimum possible. These objectives have been only partially met.

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