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200425 Economics : Human Development Index

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  • Course Code: 200425
  • University: Western Sydney University
  • Country: Australia

Question:

Workshop Question 1
 
Critically analyse the Human Development Index (HDI) as a measure of Economic and Social wellbeing. In your analysis you must cite at least one example of HDI as a good measure of wellbeing and at least 1 instance where HDI does not reflect wellbeing adequately.
 
Please note that the above question does not require you to discuss any other indicator or compare the HDI with any other indicator.

Workshop Question 2
 
Read the attached article titled “Unemployment is a necessary evil?” and critically express your viewpoint on whether unemployment is a necessary evil from the perspective of the article or not. (No citations are necessary)
 
Workshop Question 3
 
Critically evaluate the following statement with two valid examples (giving appropriate citations) to support your position with regard to the following statement. ‘Globalisation has reduced poverty in developing economies”
 
 

Answer:

Workshop Question 1

The UNDP describes development on the basis of three essentials, which includes the ability for a country’s population to have long and healthy life, have a decent standard of living and quality education (Frugoli et al, 2015, p.370). Through the Human Development Index, a country’s overall well-being can, therefore, be easily measured. It’s a social measurement as it takes into consideration the above three essentials through education; which entails adult literacy rate and the average schooling years, healthcare level within a country as denoted by the life expectancy and the economic factor of the GDP. HDI measures each of the three essentials in a scale of 0 to 1, where 1 is the best while 0 is the worst. HDI is, therefore, a crucial measure of economic and social well-being in a country because it covers both economic and social factors hence reducing anomalies (Howard and Chambers, 2016, p.560).

The Human Development Index measures the success rate of a country through the dimensions of wealth, education, and longevity. Prior to its invention as a crucial measure of economic development, economic growth  was the only factor used to measure success rate of an economy, which did not incorporate personal aspects of development like the health status of people and the education factor.  In a country like Australia whose HDI is 0.93, it is useful because it depicts the overall well-being of the country’s economy and its people in line with its economic growth (Maridal et al, 2018, p.9). Because life expectancy and education are crucial determinants of living standards in a country, and hence when those factors are measured plus the economic growth, HDI provides some metrics to measure the development of countries.

In a country like Argentina which has a high HDI, its economic growth as presented by its GDP does not match with the HDI. This is a clear indication that the HDI of Argentina is misleading and may make the country to assume being on the right track when the reality is totally different (Sirgy, Estes and Selian, 2017, p.140). For that matter, basing the argument of the economic well-being of a country on the HDI grounds should be done with great care because it might be misleading.  

Workshop Question 2

Based on the article “Unemployment is a necessary evil?” unemployment is truly a necessary evil. First of all, it is evil because of its consequences in the current economic times. I mean, how many times have we heard of people from different parts of the world die out of hunger, got life imprisonment because they attempted to steal as a result of poverty and lack of basics? Unemployment, however, plays a major role in ensuring that employees are paid well. It can, therefore, be seen as a necessary evil.

When unemployment is perceived from an economic point of view, evil as it may appear from a human point of view; it is necessary because the population of employable people always surpasses that of the available employment opportunities and that makes it hard to have full employment in any economy regardless of how developed it is. Assuming that all people are absorbed in the job market, the available resources will be divided among all the employees and that will mean each employer will be receiving very little in terms of salaries or wages. In consideration to business organizations, they will be making very little in terms of returns and hence there will be no growth at all.

Full employment in an economy will therefore mean low income to employees and which in turn will imply low standards of living. this is in consideration to the fact that a country is said to be on the right track when citizens have high standards of living. Full employment will, therefore, deter economic growth because most of the people although employed will be leading very miserable lives where high education and quality healthcare will be unaffordable. Unemployment can, therefore, be seen as a necessary evil because organizations can afford to expand and compensate their employees handsomely to enable them affords high standards of living like quality education as well as healthcare.

 

Workshop question 3

Beyond any reasonable doubt, Globalization has played an important role in reducing poverty in developing economies. This has come as a result of various reasons which include mechanization, industrialization and technological advancement. In consideration to mechanization, a country likes the Democratic Republic of Congo which is among the richest country in the whole world in terms of minerals lagged behind because they lacked the necessary machinery to exploit their minerals (Yapa, 2017, p.20). However, in the dawn of globalization, this country has been able to trade with highly mechanized countries like Germany and Japan to outsource skills and machines which have led to the exploitation of the minerals to facilitate economic growth within the country. This has led to employment creation in the country to enable its citizens have high standards of living and above the poverty level which was the case before.

Kenya on the other hand, where production technology and machines were unfamiliar before the dawn of globalization, farmers of pyrethrum and wheat could not operate in large scales (Makasi and Govender, 2015, p.341). This led to low incomes which made them lead some very miserable lives below the poverty level. However, in the dawn of globalization, machines like combined harvesters, plowing tractors, use of insecticides and pesticides came into limelight leading to increased production of some of those cash crops. Farmers have henceforth begun to realize high and guaranteed returns from their hard work and improved their living standards beyond the poverty level. On a country level, DRC and Kenya have been able to increase their exports as a result of mechanization which has translated to higher incomes and overall improvement in the standards of living within the two countries (Logan, 2017, p.35).

In conclusion, globalization has played a critical role to reduce poverty in most of the developing economies following the exchange between the developed countries and the developing ones in terms of technology of production, mechanization, and industrialization (Alvarez, Barney, and Newman, 2015, p.23). Through the technological exchange, developing economies have been able to become more productive to sustain their local economies and improving their standards of living. This is contrary to the case before globalization where most of the developing economies produced locally and hence realized low yields.

 

References

Alvarez, S.A., Barney, J.B. and Newman, A.M., 2015. The poverty problem and the industrialization solution. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 32(1), pp.23-37.

Frugoli, P.A., Almeida, C.M.V.B., Agostinho, F., Giannetti, B.F. and Huisingh, D., 2015. Can measures of well-being and progress help societies to achieve sustainable development?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 90, pp.370-380.

Howard, C. and Chambers, A., 2016. The challenge of quantifying national well-being: lessons from the Measures of Australia's Progress initiative. Policy Studies, 37(6), pp.551-567.

Logan, B.I., 2017. Globalization, the Third World state, and poverty-alleviation in the twenty-first century. Ecological Economics, 149, pp.12-112.Routledge.

Maridal, J.H., Palich, L., Morgan, G., Gardner, S., McKinney, J. and Bolbocean, C., 2018. Wellbeing Indices: A Comprehensive Inventory of Standards and a Review of Current Comparative Measures. Ecological Economics, 149, pp.1-11.

Makasi, A. and Govender, K., 2015. Globalization and sustainable development: a conceptual model. mediterranean Journal of social sciences, 6(4), p.341.

Sirgy, M.J., Estes, R.J. and Selian, A.N., 2017. How We Measure Well-Being: The Data Behind the History of Well-Being. In The Pursuit of Human Well-Being (pp. 135-157). Springer, Cham.

Yapa, L., 2017. Globalization and poverty: From a poststructural perspective. In Globalization, the third world state and poverty-alleviation in the twenty-first century (pp. 15-29). Routledge.

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