• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Difficulties in Comparing the Standard of living between countries.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Difficulties in Comparing the Standard of living between countries The standard of living is a complex subject that has been debated over the past couple of centuries. What do we mean by a "standard of living"? Probably no two people would describe this term in exactly the same way. A useful way to begin to understand the issues is to imagine that you had to live in another country. Suppose you would be born again at random to parents of a country, which you could choose according to only a couple of characteristics? What characteristics would you want to know before making a choice? Most people would like information on the material standard of living, say a nice car, a pleasant place to live, clothes, furniture, appliances, food, vacations, maybe even education. Other choices are political and religious freedom; opportunities for social and economic mobility; the degree of social and economic inequality; and climate. In my point of view, I believe that the standard of living is a level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone. The countries' standard of living comparison data provides the essential information for each country's government and identifies progress of each country. Nevertheless, there are many difficulties in trying to compare the living standard between countries. I would like to cover three significant difficulties in this paper. Section ? focuses on many different measures that can indicate a "higher or lower" standard of living, such as gross domestic product (GDP), The Genuine Progress Indictor (GPI), Human Development Index (HDI) ...read more.

Middle

The changes in purchasing power for employees are illustrated by the yearly consumption of basic food items. With rising incomes, the share of expenditures for food (and, by extension, other) products declines (= Engel found, based on surveys of families' budgets and expenditure patterns, that the income elasticity of demand for food was relatively low). The resulting shift in expenditures affects demand patterns and employment structures. [Engel's Law does NOT suggest that the consumption of food products remains unchanged as income increases! It suggests that consumers increase their expenditures for food products (in % terms) less than their increases in income. ] Index of Social Health. Marc Miringoff is director of the Fordham University Institute for Innovation in Social Policy. Marque-Luisa Miringoff is a professor of sociology at Vassar College. Together, they developed the Index of Social Health, which they describe as "a broadbased gauge of the social well-being of the nation, similar in concept to the Dow Jones Average or the Gross Domestic Product." Published annually since 1987, the index uses government data for 16 social indicators to create profiles and rankings for all 50 states. In 2001, Iowa ranked number one with a score of 73 out of 100.4 The Sixteen Indictors in the Index of Social Health 1. Affordable housing 2. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities 3. Child poverty 4. High school completion 5. Infant mortality 6. Teenage births 7. Unemployment 8. Wages 9. Age 65-plus poverty 10. Child abuse 11. Health care coverage 12. Inequality in family income 13. Life expectancy 14. Teenage drug use 15. ...read more.

Conclusion

Last but not the least, there is a big gap between urban and rural in developing countries, if only believe in numbers, it will be dangerous that you will avoid the undeveloped part of your own country. Reference: 1 Human Development Report, 2003, FAQs on the Human Development Indices, "What is the human development index (HDI)?",http://www.undp.org/hdr2003/faq.html#21 [accessed September 15,2003]. The HDI - human development index - is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: longevity, knowledge, and a decent standard of living. Longevity is measured by life expectancy at birth; knowledge is measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrolment ratio; and standard of living by GDP per capita (PPP US$). For details on how to calculate the HDI, see pages 340-341 Technical Note 1. 2 Kuznets, Simon. 1941 "National Income and Its Composition", 1919-1938. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research. 3 Ernst Engel, a [19th century] German statistician. 4 The Ledger: Winter 2003, "How do We measure Standard of Living", http://www.bos.frb.org/genpubs/ledger/ledger03/winter/measure.pdf [accessed September 16, 2003] 5Pocket World in Figures, 2001, The Economist Books Ltd. PPP statistics adjust for cost of living differences by replacing normal exchange rate with rates designed to equalize the prices of a standard "basket" of goods and services. These are used to obtain PPP estimates are normally shown on a scale of 1 to 100, taking the United States as 100. 6 Big Mac Currencies, April 21st, The Economist print edition Sun Di (Std ID: 030703) 1 10 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Human & Social Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Human & Social Geography essays

  1. Human Development. There are many aspects to take into consideration when discussing countries ...

    But these associations are far from perfect. In inter-country comparisons, income variations tend to explain not much more than half the variation in life expectancy, or in infant and child mortality" (Human Development Reports) . Firstly we compare the state of mind it leaves the members of the family in.

  2. China report

    since 2005 China has softened its monetary policy, nowadays the exchanged rate is almost floating. Nevertheless Chinese Bank can instantaneously decide to come back to a fixed rate.(sources) This uncertainty can slow down investors and can damage cross-border trade. About the labour market, China has an active labour population of 737 million.

  1. Gender differentials in the allocation of education have a marked effect on household income ...

    Hill and King (1993) also note that in parts of SSA men and women in a household will tend to maintain separate budgets. Women's expenditures are thus limited not by their husband's but by their own education and ability to generate income through access to external resources, job opportunities etc (Hill and King 1993, p.18-19).

  2. The discourse of the rural idyll masks poverty and social exclusion

    Also it possible to use a holiday home as a loss making holiday let for tax avoidance (Paris, 2007).

  1. United nations report

    Having the use of tourism within the national park areas and having no control will damage the environment, looking at the objectives set by the UNEP; within these circumstances it shows they are being non-effective. This is due to the abuse of natural resources and undermining the impact within the protected and natural areas.

  2. critical social work

    Some of these theories are little more than vague hypotheses about what will happen if we act in a certain way in a certain situation and what we might expect from others. But many of the theories we hold are more complex and express our understandings of, for example, how

  1. The Growth in Power of the Mexican Drug Cartels

    To begin his campaign against the cartels, President Calderon dispatched federal troops into three Mexican cities where violence was most rampant, one of those cities being Tijuana. The number of troops used in several different areas has been and still is used as a line of defense against violent cartel crime.

  2. Nigeria report - GDP and Economy.

    Exchange Rate The USNGN reached a record high of 164.25 in October 2011. 1. Gross National Income (GNI) Many often consider GNI more relevant in analyses and comparisons of living standards between countries and over time. It is also more relevant for consumption and investment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work