Abstract: The education and GDP indices are two components to determine the human development index set by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). There remains a high level of income and educational inequality between the countries of the world. This paper found that the correlation between Education index (EDI) and GDP index (GDPI) is significant for the high and medium GDPI countries; by contrast, it is not significant for the low GDPI countries. This paper finds that in general income differences play vital role to lead the discrimination in educational achievements with some exceptions and at the same time there remains a noteworthy differences among the education indices within the low-income countries.

Keywords: Human development, Life expectancy, Education and GDP index

I. Introduction Today, in the era of globalization, almost every country is related with each other and the overall development of the world cannot be measured separately – ideally this statement sounds great. By contrast, the reality is that one in four adults in the developing countries – 872 million people- are unable to read and write, and their numbers are growing. (OXFAM, 2000) Just one of the facts is enough to show the scenario of the precarious educational situation of the developing and undeveloped countries of the world. In addition, under the same sky there remains a huge `North-South Inequalities’ in education. For instance, per-capita spending on primary-school pupils in Nepal and India is about $12; in the US, it is $5130. (ibid) Nonetheless, it is universally accepted that education is one of the most vital instruments and components to stimulate as well as to measure the overall economic and human development of a country, it is visible that income differences play vital role to lead the discrimination in educational achievements. However, at the same time, achievement on education within the low-income countries is not the same at all.

This paper is divided into six sections. The section II, Research Question, mentions the query of this paper. The next section, Conceptual Framework, illustrates the definition and measurement scales. The section IV, Methodology, demonstrates the method of this study and according to the method the data and findings have been presented in the following section. On the basis of the findings the conclusions have been drawn.

II. Research Question
The question of this paper is whether within the lower-income countries there remains any significant relationship among the educational achievements. So, the formulated hypotheses are:

H1: There remains a significant relationship between the education index and GDP index in the world.
H2: There remains a significant relationship between the education index and GDP index in the high GDP indices countries.
H3: There remains a significant relationship between the education index and GDP index in the medium GDP indices countries.
H4: There remains a significant relationship between the education index and GDP index in the low GDP indices countries.

III. Conceptual framework 
The Human Development Index (HDI), introduced by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is the summary to measure the human development of a country. The following table-1 shows the three different dimensions, indicators, and indices to calculate the HDI.

Table-1: The Human Development Index

DimensionIndicatorDimension IndexCalculation Method
A long and healthy lifeLife expectancy at birthLife expectancy index (LEI)LEI =( Xi -25) /(85-25); Xi = life expectancy at birth in country i
Maximum value =85, Minimum value =25
KnowledgeAdult literacy rate Gross enrolment ratio (GER)Adult literacy index (ALI) Education index(EDI)ALI = (Xi -0)/ (100-0)
Xi = adult literacy rate in country i,
Maximum value =100, Minimum value =0 EDI
= ²/3(ALI)
A decent standard of livingGDP per capita (PPPUS$)   GDP index(GDPI)GDPI=
Xi = GDP per capita(PPP$) for country i,
Maximum value =40000 Minimum value =100
Human DevelopmentHuman Development Index (HDI)   HDI = ⅓(LEI)+ ⅓(EDI)+ ⅓(GDPI)

Source: UNDP (2004) The UNDP divided the countries into three different categories, as high (HDI 0.800 and above), medium (HDI 0.500-0.799) and low (HDI below 0.500) human developed countries. This paper has divided the countries in the following categories:

Indicator: EducationIndicator: GDP
High Education Index
(EDI 0.800 and above)
High GDP Index
(GDPI 0.800 and above)
Medium Education Index
(EDI 0.500-0.799)
Medium GDP Index
(GDPI 0.500-0.799)
Low Education Index
(EDI below 0.500)
Low GDP Index
(GDPI below 0.500)

IV. Methodology At first, the correlation between EDI and GDPI in the world and high, medium, low indices countries has been calculated by using SPSS. According to the results the significance of the hypotheses were found.

Afterwards, the EDIs have been classified if any noteworthy differences were seen. Then some comparisons have been exposed according to the following criteria:

(a)The differences between the EDIs of the low and high GDP indices countries.
(b)The differences between the EDIs of the low and medium GDP indices countries.
(c)The differences between the EDIs within the low GDP indices countries.

V. Data Collection and Findings The data were collected from `Human Development Report 2004’ published by UNDP. They have listed 177 countries and provided data for 2002. This study is based on these data. The significances of hypotheses are expressed in table2.

Table2: Correlation between GDPI and EDI

(Number of countries, N)
Pearson Correlation or R2Significance (2-tailed)
N = 177
High GDPI (GDPI>0.8)
(N= 46)
Medium GDPI (0.5<GDPI<0.8)
(N= 88)
(N= 43)

According to table 2, it is found that at 0.05 level of significance the hypotheses no. H1, H2, H3 are accepted but H4 is rejected. Thus, the results show that there remains a relationship between education and GDP indices for the world, high and medium GDP indices countries, in contrast, with the low GDP indices countries.

Out of the 177 countries, the EDI is higher than 0.8 for more than half the countries. However, more than 90% of higher GDPI, vis-à-vis, 60% of mid GDPI countries EDI is higher than 0.8. By contrast, only 10% of the GDPI countries EDI is higher than 0.8.

From the human development indices of the different countries of the world, among the low GDPI countries, the EDI of some countries are admirably well. The EDI of some low GDPI countries such as, Kyrgyzstan (GDPI=0.46), Uzbekistan (0.47), Tajikistan (0.38) and so on is higher than 0.9, whereas, in Equatorial Guinea (GDPI = 0.95), United Arab Emirates (0.9), Oman (0.82), Saudia Arabia (0.81)- with higher than  0.8 GDPI-  their EDI is less than 0.8. Even the EDIs of some medium GDPIs countries (for example, Vanuatu, Mauritania, Angola, Guiena etc.) are lower than some of the lower GDPI countries, like Kenya, Congo, Myanmar and so on. However, within the low GDPI countries the differences of EDI is noteworthy. With the same or nearby GDPI level of the previously mentioned low GDPI countries, the EDI of Pakistan (GDPI =0.49), Gambia (0.47), Senegal (0.46) is just about 0.4. In addition, the GDPIs of Tajikistan and Burkina Faso are 0.38 and 0.4, respectively. But with this almost same level of GDPI (even it is slightly higher for Burkina Faso), there remains a remarkable difference between the EDI of these two countries -EDI of Tajikistan is 0.9 and Burkina Faso is 0.16.

VI. Conclusion The forthcoming discussion has shown that the GDPI is not the sole components to have a higher EDI. Since, even with lower GDPIs, the EDI of some countries are even much higher than the high and medium GDPI countries. Again, among the low GDPI countries the differences of EDI are outstanding. Therefore, it can be sighted that the other factors, such as, political stability, empowerment of women, history, culture, geography, law and order and so on may play a vital role to determine the EDI of the low GDPI countries.

1. Oxfam (2000). “Break the Cycle of Poverty”, education now, Oxfam International, UK
2. UNDP (2004).  “Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World”, Human Development Report 2004, Oxford University, NY

Authors: Kazi Sameeo Sheesh, Education Professional, Institute of Educational Development-BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Radia Tamim, Master of Health Economics, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

About the author

Sameeo Sheesh

Sameeo Sheesh

Sameeo Sheesh is currently working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Arts and Social Sciences, Dhaka University in Bangladesh. He did his bachelor and Master in Economics from the University of Dhaka. Then, he did Master in Development Studies from BRAC University, Master in International Education from the George Washington University and MA in Educational Research and Evaluation from the University of Sussex. He is involved with social and cultural activities and study circles. He has a great knack for freehand writing and making presentation in seminars/workshops. He has four published books and a number of articles. He also directed a film named ‘Swapno’ (Dream).

About the author

Radia Tamim

Radia Tamim

Radia Tamim is interested in the field of social and economic development, especially, in the sector of research and project management. She is involved with social and cultural activities and study circles. Her book on Prenatal Education (in Bangla) and Climate Change and vulnerabilities of Women: voices of the victim have been admired by the readers. She is an adorable mother of twins.

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