Sustainability and Human Development Indicators: A Poset Analysis

Flavio Comim, Tadashi Hirai

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The paper introduces the methodology of partially ordered sets to evaluate sustainable human development indicators. It shows its importance to the integration of human and environmental indicators, clarifying the limitations of composite indicators and emphasising the need to move towards higher levels of conceptual consistency and solid informational pluralism, incorporating richer social and environmental spaces towards an analytical structure that avoids subjective, arbitrary and potential obscure choices of variables in the analysis of sustainable human development. The paper uses Hasse diagrams and sensitivity analyses to evaluate the evidence offered by the new pressure-adjusted human development index (PHDI). The results indicate that the introduction of CO2 and material pressure indicators produce an excessive number of incomparabilities and affect the role of GNIpc in the determination of countries' partial rankings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107470
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Capability Approach
  • Human Development Index
  • Poset Analysis
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Human Development Indicators


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