Economics Essays – Economic Development

With strong mention to empirical grounds, analyze critically whether this statement is right: ‘Economic Development may non be a gradual procedure of convergence by all states and states will travel consecutive from a group of hapless states to the group of rich states ‘


Economic development has become the recent focal point of attending for authoritiess around the universe. Todaro and Smith ( 2003 ) province that inrigorous economic sciences footings economic developmentrefers to the capacity of a national economic system, whose initial status has been more or less inactive for a long clip, to bring forth and prolong an one-year addition in itsGross National Product( GNP ) at rates of 5 % -7 % or more. In add-on to the above, it is besides a planned change of the construction of production and employment in a mode where there is a displacement from agricultural dependance to industrialization, every bit good as, it should bespeak an betterment in certain societal indexs like, additions in literacy, schooling, wellness conditions and services, were besides seen as chief step of development.

The definition of economic development has evolved over the old ages. However, empirical grounds indicated that whileeconomic growing degreeswere achieved by the development states, but it failed to better the criterion of life of the people. As a consequence economic development was redefined to integrate decrease or riddance of poorness, inequality and unemployment within the turning context of a turning economic system.

The undermentioned paper will analyze whether economic development is a consecutive procedure or a gradual procedure of convergence. The statements will be supported by empirical surveies conducted in the country.

It must be highlighted that in 1950s and 60s development was seen as a series of consecutive phases of economic growing. It was considered to be an economic theory of development in which the right measure and mixture of nest eggs, investing, and foreign assistance were the critical constituents, necessary to enable developing states to travel along an economic growing way that historically had been followed by the more developed states. Development had become synonymous with rapid economic growing. This attack was normally known as the additive phases approach ( Lewis and Harrod-Domar theoretical account ) , which was replaced in the 70s by two viing economic ideological schools of idea. The first, which focused on theories and forms of structural alteration ;modern economic theory and statistical analysiswere used to portray the internal procedure of structural alteration that a typical ‘developing ‘ state would undergo to win in bring forthing and prolonging a procedure of rapid economic growing. The 2nd, the international dependance revolution, was more extremist and political in orientation. It viewed underdevelopment in footings of international and domestic power relationships, institutional and structural economic rigidnesss.

Amongst the other theories that explain economic growing, structural alteration theory focuses on the mechanism by which developing economic systems transform their domestic economic constructions from a heavy accent on traditional subsistence agribusiness to a more modern, more urbanised and more industrially diverse fabrication and service economic system. It employs the tools of neoclassical monetary value and resource allotment theory and modern econometrics to depict how this transmutation takes topographic point.

In the Lewis theoretical account the developing economic system consists of two sectors characterised by a traditional overpopulated rural subsistence sector and zero fringy labour productiveness. Therefore harmonizing to theLewis theoretical account, the primary focal point of the theoretical account was on the procedure of labor transportation and the growing of end product and employment in the modern sector.

Although the Lewis two-sector development theoretical account is simple and approximately reflects the historical experience of economic growing in the West, nevertheless, it has been argued that its cardinal premises do non suit the institutional and economic worlds of modern-day developing states. The premise that the rate of labor transportation and employment creative activity in the modern sector is relative to the rate of modern sector capital accretion ; the faster the rate of capital accretion, the higher the growing rates of the modern sector and faster the rate of new occupation creative activity is non ever true. Second, the impression that surplus labour exists in rural countries while there is full employment in the urban countries has besides been questioned. Most modern-day research indicates that there is small general excess labor in rural locations. Third, the impression of a competitory modern-sector labor market that guarantees the continued being of changeless existent urban wages up to the point where the supply of rural excess labor is exhausted has besides been criticised on the evidences of being unrealistic.

Forms of development analysis like the earlier Lewis theoretical account is the 1, focused on the consecutive procedure through which the economic, industrial, and institutional construction of an developing economic system was transformed over clip to allow new industries to replace traditional as the engine of economic growing.

Surveies conducted by Chenery during post war period led to designation of several characteristic characteristics of the development procedure. These included the displacement from agricultural to industrial production, the accretion of physical and human capital, the alteration in consumer demands from accent on nutrient basic necessities to fabricate goods and services, the growing of metropoliss and urban industries as people migrate from farms and little towns, so diminishing in the procedure of development.

Empirical surveies conducted on the procedure of structural alteration conclude that the gait and form of development varies harmonizing to domestic and international factors, which lie beyond the control of an single development state. Despite this fluctuation, structural alteration economic experts argue, that forms can be identified by detecting the pick of development policies and international trade and foreign aid policies pursued by Less Developed Countries ‘ ( LDC ) authoritiess and developed states, severally.

Kuznet isolated six characteristic characteristics manifested in the growing procedure of about every developed state:

  • High rates of growing per capita end product and population
  • High rates of addition in entire factor productiveness
  • High rates of structural transmutation of the economic system
  • High rates of societal ideological transmutation.
  • The leaning of economically developed states to make out to the remainder of the universe for markets and natural stuffs.
  • The limited spread of this economic growing to merely a 3rd of the universe ‘s population.

Kuznet suggests that high rates of per capita consequences from the lifting degrees of factor productiveness. High per capita incomes in bend generate high degrees of per capita ingestion, therefore supplying the inducements for alterations in the construction of production. Furthermore, advanced engineering needed to accomplish end product and structural alterations causes the graduated table of production and the features of economic endeavor units to alter in both administration and location. This in bend necessitates rapid alterations in the location and construction of the labour force and in position relationships among business groups.

Kuznet suggested that rapid economic growing makes possible scientific research, which in bend leads to technological innovations and inventions, which propel economic growing even further.

Puga and Venables ( 1998 ) strongly believe that economic development may non be a gradual procedure of convergence by all states. They argue that both import permutation and one-sided trade liberalization may be successful in pulling industry, nevertheless, they attract different sectors and they believe that public assistance degrees are higher under trade liberalization. Harmonizing to the paper produced by Puga and Venables ( 1998 ) the logic of spacial agglomeration implies that development can non continue at the same time in all states. Alternatively there is a group of rich states and a group of hapless 1s, and development takes the signifier of states being drawn in bend out of the hapless groups, and taken through a procedure of foray development into the rich group.

It must be highlighted that the place of developing states today is significantly different from that of the presently developed states when they embarked on their modern economic growing. Todaro and Smith have identified eight important differences in initial conditions that require particular analysis of the growing chances and demands of modern economic development:

– Physical and human resource gifts

– Per capita incomes and degrees of GNP in relation to the remainder of the universe

– Climate

– Population size, distribution and growing

– Historic function of international migration

– International trade benefits

– Basic scientific and technological research and development capablenesss

– Stability and flexibleness of political and societal establishments.

Contemporary developing states are frequently less good endowed with natural resources than the presently developed states were at the clip when the latter states began their modern economic growing. A few developing states have abundant supplies of natural resources like crude oil, other minerals, and natural stuffs for which universe demand is turning ; most less developed states particularly Asia are ill endowed with natural resources. Another of import component is a state ‘s ability to work its natural resources and prolong long term. The inventiveness of managerial and proficient accomplishments of its people is an of import factor on which economic growing is dependent.

Amongst many advocates of consecutive advancement the empirical surveies provided by Murphy, Shleifer and Vishny ( 1998 ) in their ‘big push ‘ theoretical account besides high spots, that increasing modern sector employment leads to an addition in the aggregative demand, thereby increasing profitableness of modern sector houses. The one major premise in their theoretical account was that the economic system was a closed economic system. This can be regarded as a unfavorable judgment for the theoretical account because in the existent universe closed economic systems do non be. Puga and Venables argue that a wholly homogenous procedure of economic growing for each state in the same proportion will non hold any spacial effects. However, if demand for makers rises faster than demand for agribusiness, the comparative monetary value alterations would happen which will trip industrial resettlement.

Several unfavorable judgments have been presented for the theories related to convergence. Ron Martin ( 1999 ) presented unfavorable judgment of the anticipations of long-term regional growing and convergence made by economic experts associated with geographical economic sciences by utilizing a reformulation of the neo-classical growing theoretical account. The standard neo-classical ( Swan-Solow ) growing theoretical account assumes decreasing returns to capital and labor, and holds that a comparatively hapless state with a lower stock of capital per worker has a higher fringy productiveness of capital and a higher rate of return to capital. Therefore, it predicts that poorer states will turn faster than, and finally catch up with, richer states. However, while application of a new discrepancy of the theoretical account at cross-regional degree, where absolute convergence is more likely to happen because of comparative homogeneousness in structural, technological, institutional and societal features, has revealed that the rate of regional convergence is similar across the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan, China and Australia, the rate ( 12 % per annum ) is much lower than that which the neo-classical growing theoretical account predicts. The deductions are, as Martin deduces, either that returns to labor and capital are non-diminishing, or diminish really easy, or that interregional spillovers of capital, labor and engineering are much less than expected, and therefore that there are endogenous effects in regional growing ( Martin, 1999 ) .


Empirical surveies conducted have presented assorted accounts for economic development. Some respect it as a consecutive procedure, come respect it as a convergence procedure. However, none of the theories are without its defects. A blend of all the factors would be indispensable for development. Measures are being taken in the way to enter informations and statistics nevertheless, like everything every development and less developed economic system would hold to follow the way of development. Therefore from the predating paragraphs it can be concluded that economic development may non be a gradual procedure of convergence by all states and states will travel consecutive from a group of hapless states to the group of rich states.

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  • Journal and Articles

  • Puga, D. and Venables, A.J. ,Agglomeration and economic development: Import permutation vs. trade liberalization,( 1998 ) , Centre for Economic Performance, Discussion Paper No. 377

Other Beginnings

Todaro, M.P. and Smith, S.C. ,Economic Development,Eight Edition, Pearson Addison-Wiley ( 2003 ) , pp8-17