Monday, October 19, 2009
HDI 2009 CPI components
Although the GDP was not developed to measure the level; of welfare of a society it has been often used to imply that a larger GDP/Capita means a better quality of life. There have been many efforts over the years to adjust the GDP and/or modify it is such a way as to make it responsive to some of the criticisms leveled at it.
One of the most successful efforts at creating an alternative measure of welfare is the Human Development Index (HDI) that was introduced 20 years ago. The HDI is a relatively simple index that combines the money measure of the GDP/Capita, life expectancy at birth and degree of literacy to rank countries relative to the combined score that they attain. Obviously the highest possible score is 1. This kind of ranking raises the importance of heath care services in addition to education but it deemphasizes the role of money income as the most important factor in determining the quality of life. The final rankings demonstrate clearly that it is possible to have a relatively low GDP/capita and yet enjoy a high quality of life if the access to health care results in longer and healthier life combined with a high degree of literacy.
Those among you who are interested in the latest such report by the UNDP should visit the following web site for the full report and all its data:
Components of Consumer Price Index
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the following description of the major eight categories and 200 categories that are currently used in computing the CPI.
Major groups and examples of categories in each are as follows:
* FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
* HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
* APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
* TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
* MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
* RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
* EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
* OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses)."