Racing ahead or lagging behind? Territorial cohesion in human development around the globe.

Working Paper 2021-569


This paper investigates whether global improvements in human development involve sub-national regions in a territorially cohesive way. For that purpose, we use a sub-national human development index for over 1765 regions within162 countries over three decades, and propose measures for relative over- and under-performance. We observe that under- and over-development within countries tends to disappear over time around the world. In contrast, from a global perspective, we detect the presence of a non-negligible set of under-developing sub-national regions spanning across 20+ countries that, in the last two decades, have failed to catch-up with the world average human development.

Authors: Iñaki Permanyer, Nicolai Suppa.

Keywords: human development, inequality, regional disparities, territorial cohesion
JEL: I31, O15, D63, R11