Racing ahead or lagging behind? Territorial cohesion in human development around the globe
This paper investigates whether global improvements in human development involve subnational regions in a territorially cohesive way. We use a subnational human development index for 1765 regions within 162 countries over three decades, and propose measures for relative over- and under-performance. We observe that under- and over-performance within countries tends to disappear over time. 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 fail to catch-up with the world average human development. We also explore how under- and over-performing regions contribute to national and global inequality.