ELL (The Equivalent Length of Life) or another attempt at measuring development

Jacques Silber

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25 Scopus citations


The search for an adequate measure of development has been one of the main areas of interest to development specialists in the past decade. In this paper another measure of development is proposed, which is called ELL, or the Equivalent Lenght of Life. The idea is to compute the length of life which, if being identical for all the individuals, would give the same social welfare as the actual distribution of deaths by age. Such a measure has the advantage of taking distribution considerations explicitly into account. ELL was computed for several countries in 1964 and the results were then compared with computations based on other development indicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1983

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* I wish to thank Professor Baanan Weitz who fist aroused my interest in development problems. However, in no way should he be considered responsible for the content of this paper. I have also greatly benefited from the remarks of two anonymous referees. This research was supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation received through the Israel Foundations Trustees.


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