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Indices and Indicators in Development: An Unhealthy Obsession with Numbers Hardcover – October 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1844070121 ISBN-10: 1844070123

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Editorial Reviews


"The book is the third by Morse (Univ. of Reading, UK) in a series dealing with development indicators. His preceding two publications, coauthored with Simon Bell, are Sustainability Indicators: Measuring the Immeasurable (1995) and Measuring Sustainability: Learning by Doing (2003). While appreciating the usefulness of indicators and indexes in simplifying complex situations for decision making, Morse stresses in this new volume the importance of understanding how those indexes are constructed to avoid misuse by policy makers and managers working in development. After using simple examples to show how construction of an index can determine its results, he identifies various development indicators and their construction and assesses their limitations and possibilities for misuse. Indicators and indexes subjected to his scrutiny include gross national product and related measures of economic output; measures of poverty and income inequality; human development indexes based on life expectancy, literacy, and per capita income; and indicators of sustainable development. The volume is nicely formatted with numerous figures and tables that show interesting comparative data among countries. Technical presentation of indicator construction is generally confined to boxes separate from the ongoing narrative. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections."--E. L. Whalen, formerly, Clark College

About the Author

Stephen Morse is Reader in Development Studies at the University of Reading and co-author of Sustainability Indicators (1999) and Measuring Sustainability (2003).

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