Despite huge revenues generated from the production of copper (approximately 14.4% of GDP) and the low level of government borrowing, there is still much inequality in Chile. The graph below shows the Human Development Index (HDI) plotted against the Inequality-Adjusted  HDI (IHDI) for many countries around the world, with the UK, the US and Chile highlighted for comparison.


The IHDI is measure of the development of a society given the inherent inequalities that lie within it. With no inequality the IHDI will be equal to the HDI, but the former measure will fall short of the latter as inequalities rise.Values range from 0 to 1 with higher scores being reflective of better development. For example, Namibia has and HDI of .625 and an IDHI of 0.325, therefore inequalities in Namibia are likely responsible for a 43.5% reduction in human development. Conversely, inequalities in the UK account for an 8.4% reduction in development. It’s clear from the graph that there exists a strong linear relationship between the IDHI and the HDI itself. In other words, the poorer the human development is in a given society, the worse the inequalities are likely to be. While life expectancy in Chile is less affected by inequalities, income and its well-known antecedent, education are. The graph below shows the relationship between HDI and the Inequality-Adjusted Education Index. Inequalities in Chile strongly attenuate the HDI.


With this is mind, I think it is important to question educational policy in Chile and wonder why more money (Copper?) is not pumped in to support a society’s most valuable asset; the children. In the meantime, there are good charities out there helping the most disadvantaged children in Chile such as Voluntarios de la Esperanza. And yes they do take donations…


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