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Economic Development & Classification Systems. IB-SL Economics P. Messere. Assessing Living Standards. Increase in GDP for World’s regions (1980-2000). According to the above table, which region has shown the greatest improvement in economic welfare ? . Development – What & For Whom?.

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Economic Development & Classification Systems

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Economic Development & Classification Systems

IB-SL Economics

P. Messere


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Assessing Living Standards

Increase in GDP for World’s regions (1980-2000)

According to the above table, which region has shown the greatest improvement in economic welfare?


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Development – What & For Whom?

Has an economy developed when economic growth (increased GDP per capita) occurs but the following conditions are also present?

  • Incomes for the poorest 25% to 50% of the population remain unchanged

  • Large proportion of the population is unable to meet basic needs for food, shelter, sanitation, health care etc…

  • Long term unemployment increases with improved productivity

  • The growth is fuelled by a few wealthy land owners producing primary goods for export rather than domestic consumption & profits are reinvested abroad, rather than at home


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Economic Growth vs. Development

  • Economic Growth

    • The increase in real national income (GDP/GNP) during a given time period, usually one year

    • Economic growth is a quantitative concept allowing for comparisons both between countries and over time


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Economic Growth vs. Development

  • Economic Development (Past)

    • Originally referred to the process of industrialization (structural transformation of economy primarily dependent on agriculture to one producing manufactured goods) accompanied by increased real per capita GDP/GNP

      • Definition proved too narrow for development economists as it did not illustrate true development in terms of increased living standards or quality of life for citizens


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Economic Growth vs. Development

  • Economic Development (recent)

    • Includes economic growth but must include reduction of:

      • Poverty

      • Income inequality

      • Unemployment

    • Development is qualitative concept accounting for questions of what is being produced and who is getting it?


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Development – Broader Context


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Classifications of Developing Countries: World Bank (IBRD)

  • World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction & Development) System

    • divides 133 countries (both developed & and developing) with populations in excess of 1 million into four groups according to per capita income levels:

      • Low income: per cap. GNP < $785 in1997

      • Middle income: $786 - $3,125

      • Upper middle-income: $3,126 - $9,655

      • High income: per cap. GNP > $9656 in 1997


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Classifications of Developing Countries: World Bank (IBRD)

  • World Bank’s System

    • first three groups (per cap. GNP to $9655) comprise 107 mostly developing countries

    • last group (high income economies) made up of 26 nations; 24 from First World and other two (Kuwait & UAE) classified as developing


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Classifications of Developing Countries: OECD

  • OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) divides third world into four groups:

    • 61 low-income countries (LICs) with per cap. income less than $659 including 29 least developed countries (LLDCs)

    • 73 middle-income countries (MICs)

    • 11 newly industrializing countries (NICs)

    • 13 members of OPEC


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Alternative Measures of Development

  • To overcome problem of using GDP growth as measure of development, economists construct measurements based on relatively quantifiable and identifiable variables showing relative living standards and overall human welfare

    • Such common indicators include:

      • ‘Distance’ between richest 10% and poorest 10% in society

      • Doctors per 1,000 people & average travel time to hospital

      • Number of people with access to clean drinking water

      • Average daily caloric intake per person

      • Road km & other transportation networks in km per capita

      • Telephones/computers/internet access per 1,000 inhabitants


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Alternative Measures of Development (con’t)

  • Additional indicators include:

    • Infant mortality rates

    • Life expectancy

    • Percentage spent on public education relative to national budget/GDP

    • GDP/GNP adjusted for pollution / environmental damage / non-monetary activities such as barter

    • Adjusting income figures showing long-run sustainability by factoring in depreciation of environmental capital eg. natural resources


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Composite Indexes

  • No single indicator can show overall development

  • Composite indexes created where number of different variables used together and indexed in order to make comparisons possible

    • Physical Quality of Life Index

    • United Nations Human Development Index (most commonly used)

    • Human Poverty Index


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Alternative Measures of Development: PQLI

  • Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI)

    • PQLI uses three indicators (weighted equally) to form a simple composite index where performance of each country is rated on a scale of 1 (worst) to 100 (best):

      • life expectancy: 100 = 77 yrs, & 28 yrs. = 1

      • infant mortality:100 = 9 per 1000 & 1 = 229 per 1000

      • literacy rates (as per country data)


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Alternative Measures of Development: United Nations HDI

  • The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI)

    • HDI attempts to rank all countries on scale of 0 (lowest human development) to 1 (highest human development) based on three goals:

      • life expectancy at birth (longevity)

      • educational attainment (knowledge)

      • real per capita income (living standard)


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Size and income level

The Structural Diversity of Developing Economies


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Size and income level

Historical background

Physical and human resources

Ethnic and religious composition

Relative importance of public and private sectors

Industrial structure

The Structural Diversity of Developing Economies


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Sizeand income level

Historical background

Physical and human resources

Ethnic and religious composition

Relative importance of public and private sectors

Industrial structure

External dependence

Political structure, power, and interest groups

The Structural Diversity of Developing Economies


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