Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Predicting Level of Development for Different Countries

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Predicting Level of Development for Different Countries

Article excerpt


It is well evidenced that development is a crucial aspect of any country. The demand of a country to be developed, it is necessary to concentrate on other aspects of economy like social and political development rather than just economic growth. In this paper our basic objective is to develop the model to predict the country's development level on the bases of some social, economic and political indicators and also investigate the role of these indicators on development of a country. These indicators are primarily related to economic, health, education and governance. The development of a country is considered as categorical variable, the categories are already defined by United Nations Development Program (UNDP). These categories (highly developed, developed, developing and under developed) are based on Human Development Index (HDI). The data for this study is obtained for 186 countries from World Bank (WB) and UNDP for the year of 2010. Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) Neural Network Model is used for predicting the country's level of development on the basis of economic, health, education and governance indicators, and the relative importance of these indicators in prediction. Our results show that the indicators; health, education and governance have greater effect on countries development level as compare to the economic indicators. From this investigation, it is suggested that developing and under developed countries should also concentrate on the health, education and governance to improve their development level rather than only increasing the economic indicators.

Keywords: development level, Human Development Index, governance, multilayer perceptron

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1. Introduction

Development of countries is very important issue that is under discussion from the last some decades (UN, 2012). This problem is one of those which have increased attention from the researcher in the recent past. The word development is a dynamic process and verity of definitions on development of a country now exists. Because every discipline that has studied development of country has different opinions and definitions (UN, 2003; Uddin & Joya, 2007; Ngowi, 2009; Sebudubudu, 2010; Nielsen, 2011). Ever since different disciplines consider different indicators to measure development, so there is substantial diversity between the definitions of development described by different institutions and organizations. Therefore development of any country is a very controversial field.

In the past most part of the literature is considering development as a function of economic growth but only economic growth does not assure development in any country. Countries that raise their income but do not focus on other perspective of economy such as political and social aspects; education, health and governance are actually missing important aspects of development. But now in existing literature researchers are also considering the other aspects of economy rather than just economic growth. Many studies had been made on development of countries but there is no any single or compact measure available that can be utilized to correctly determine the level of development for a country. Researchers are still making every effort to find out the solution of this problem. World Bank (WB) and United Nations (UN) are the pioneers of measuring countries with respect to their different perspectives. These organizations also established some measures to determine the level of development of countries. Human Development Index (HDI) is one measure among many attempts.

Education is a very important instrument of development. In developing countries, education is essential in order to achieve a strong economy. As educated people are more likely to have job, earn more and have a respectable position in society. It is also evident that for low-income countries, extension of primary education is the best investment. …

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