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May 3, 2006

Who Are The Mortacracies? Part III

In Part II, I used a people's life expectancy from birth (LE) as an indicator of whether they were ruled by a mortacracy or not. But is LE enough?

Perhaps, in addition to LE, I should consider a wider measure of human underdevelopment that takes into account LE's social and economic context, and its high and low. We have this from the UN's Human Development Report for 2005 It used a human development index (HDI) based on a people's income, education and health. Its purpose is not to give a complete picture of human development, but to provide a measure of human well-being (see here for the indices involved, and their calculations). This is precisely what is impacted by mortacracies.

The report also provides a Life Expectancy Index (LEI), which among other indices goes into calculating the HDI. It is:

(a country's life expectancy minus the world low) / (world high minus world low).
Thus, the lowest LEI would be 0, and the high would be 1.0. As to calculating the HDI, each of the indices that go into it is determined as is LEI above, and HDI is an average of them all. Thus, HDI also varies from a low of 0 to a high of 1.0. The 2003 HDI plotted against LEI is shown in the chart below (If it is unclear or does not show, click here)
Since LEI is a linear transformation of LE, the same curve would obtain even if LE were used in place of LEI.

The best fitting curvilinear function for the plot is the natural logarithmic one shown, with a correlation R^2=.82. It accounts for 82 percent of the variance between HDI and LEI. As the well being of a people increases as measure by HDI, there is an increasingly close relationship between this well being and their life expectancy. This is clear from the chart, where along the fitted log curve, the distribution of countries (blue dots) around the curve tightens into a cone at the highest level. Something is causing the wide distribution of countries at the low end of HDI and LEI, therefore, which I argue is caused by mortacracies.

(Continued here)

Posted by Rudy at May 3, 2006 10:23 PM

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