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注重发展中真正重要的因素

纽约—对大多数人来说,衡量“发展”最好的办法是变化的数量,比如平均收入、预期寿命、教育年限等。人类发展指数(HDI)由我在联合国开发规划署的办公室主管,它全面地衡量国家的进步情况,结合了所有这三个统计指标为各国做出相对的排名。

但是,很多人没有意识到,这些指标尽管很有用,但并不能勾勒发展的全景。事实上,要理解到底何谓发达国家,我们必须抓住人们的生活如何受到进步的影响。而要理解这一点,就必须考虑报告记录的变化的质量

统计学家在比较不同的国家时,会要求相称数据(commensurate data)。比如,要比较入学率,研究者需要统计各国在册学生数量,将其与所有学龄儿童比较(尽管即便是是这样的方法,在许多发展中国家仍然存在困难,这些国家的记录未必是标准化的)。

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