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EC348 Development Economics. Chapter 2 Lecture - Comparative Economic Development. Defining the Developing World. World Bank Scheme- ranks countries on GNI/capita. Characteristics of the Developing World: Diversity within Commonality.

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Chapter 2 Lecture - Comparative Economic Development

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chapter 2 lecture comparative economic development

EC348 Development Economics

Chapter 2 Lecture - Comparative Economic Development

defining the developing world
Defining the Developing World

World Bank Scheme- ranks countries on GNI/capita

characteristics of the developing world diversity within commonality
Characteristics of the Developing World: Diversity within Commonality

1. Lower levels of living and productivity

2. Lower levels of human capital (health, education, skills)

3. Higher Levels of Inequality and Absolute Poverty

Absolute Poverty

World Poverty

4. Higher Population Growth Rates

Crude Birth rates

Source: Data from World Bank, World Development Indicators 2013 (Washington, D. C.: World Bank, 2013), p.24.

income per capita in selected countries 2013
Income Per Capita in Selected Countries (2013)

A Comparison of Per

Capita GNI (2013)

crude birth rates around the world 2009
Crude Birth Rates Around the World, 2009

CRUDE BIRTH RATE is the number of resident live births for a specified geographic area (nation, etc.) during a specified period (year) divided by the total population (estimated) for that area and multiplied by 1,000.

Calculation: (Number of resident live births / Number of total population) x 1,000

Examples: 180,000 live births in calendar year among nation residents-2,300,000 estimated population in calendar year

(180,000/12,300,000) x 1,000 = 14.6 live births per 1,000 residents in given year

characteristics of the developing world diversity within commonality1
Characteristics of the Developing World: Diversity within Commonality

5. Greater Social Fractionalization

6. Larger Rural Populations but Rapid Rural-to-Urban Migration

7. Lower Levels of Industrialization and Manufactured Exports

8. Adverse Geography

Resource endowments

Share of the Population Employed in the Industrial Sector in Selected Countries, (1990-1992) and (2008-20011) (%)
characteristics of the developing world diversity within commonality2
Characteristics of the Developing World: Diversity within Commonality

9. Underdeveloped Financial and Other markets

Imperfect markets

Incomplete information

10. Colonial Legacy and External Dependence


Private property

Personal taxation

Taxes in cash rather than in kind

human development index
Human Development Index
  • Recent efforts have tried to come up with an indicator that summarizes several different “dimensions” of welfare
  • The most well-known example is the Human Development Index (HDI), developed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • The HDI combines measures of income, education (enrollment ratio and literacy), and health (life expectancy), into a single measure
  • The HDI is a relative index: the value for each country is between 0 and 1; it conveys the relative position of a given country in the overall development schedule
  • For example, a country with income per capita equal to $9,000, life expectancy at birth equal to 71, adult literacy equal to 75%, and enrollment ratio equal to 98% would have an HDI equal to 78
  • Countries are classified into different “development groups” according to the value of their HDI
overall indicators of development
Overall Indicators of Development
  • Non-economists (and some economists) usually reject the idea that welfare and poverty should be measured by income alone
  • Although income makes people live better, there are other dimensions of people’s lives that are also important for welfare
  • A large array of Social Indicators try to measure these different dimensions
  • Health variables: child mortality, life expectancy, malnutrition, number of hospital beds per inhabitants, etc
  • Education indicators: illiteracy, enrollment rates, average educational achievement in the population, etc
  • Access to service/information indicators: radios or TV’s per inhabitants, circulation of newspapers, % of households with access to safe water, etc

Can you think of other indicators?

holistic measures of living levels and capabilities
Holistic Measures of Living Levelsand Capabilities


Life Expectancy


HDI as a holistic measure of living levels

HDI can be calculated for groups and regions in a country

HDI varies among groups within countries

HDI varies across regions in a country

HDI varies between rural and urban areas

what is new in the new hdi 1 calculating with a geometric mean
What is new in the New HDI? 1. Calculating with a geometric mean

Probably most consequential: The index is now computed with a geometric mean, instead of an arithmetic mean

A geometric mean is also used to build up the overall education index from its two components

Traditional HDI added the three components and divided by 3

New HDI takes the cube root of the product of the three component indexes

The traditional HDI calculation assumed one component traded off against another as perfect substitutes, a strong assumption

The reformulation now allows for imperfect substitutability

what is new in the new hdi 2 other key changes
What is new in the New HDI? 2. Other key changes:

Gross national income per capita replaces gross domestic product per capita

Revised education components: now using the average actual educational attainment of the whole population, and the expected attainment of today’s children

The maximum values in each dimension have been increased to the observed maximum rather than given a predefined cutoff

The lower goalpost for income has been reduced due to new evidence on lower possible income levels

looking at the data
Looking at the Data


Multidimensional Poverty Index


Human Development Index (2013)

gnp and gdp once again
GNP and GDP Once Again
  • GNP – focused on nationality
    • Sum of value of finished (or final) goods and services (as opposed to intermediate outputs) produced by a country’s economic agents (firms and households) during one year, regardless of whether production takes place within or outside the country.
  • GDP – geographically focused
    • Sum of value of finished (not intermediate) goods and services produced in a country during one year, regardless of whether foreigners or that country’s economic agents are doing the production.
  • Alternative definition of GDP (or GNP) – national income
    • Instead of determining the size of the economy by counting up the value of all finished goods and services, one can estimate GDP by summing value added, industry/sector by industry/sector. The single industry’s value-added is distributed as income to the suppliers of labor, capital, and other factors of production. Accordingly, the summation of all value added in an economy equals national income.
the growth rate what it means
The Growth Rate – What it Means
  • The growth rate between two years, such as 2004 and 2005, is given by the formula:

where GDP2004 is the GDP in 2004 and GDP2005 is the GDP in 2005

  • If you know the growth rate and, for example, if the rate of growth between 2004 and 2005 is 1.3%, then to find the GDP in 2005, multiply the GDP in 2004 by 1.013.
  • In order to figure out the GDP over a longer period of time, say between 2000 and 2005 (a period of 5 years):
  • notice that the growth rate is the average annualized rate (exactly 1.3% growth probably doesn’t occur every year; it is the average annual growth rate or more exactly, the rate that would generate the end year result if one growth rate had obtained for the entire time)



Doubling time of income


About 50 years (around 3 generations)


A little over 30 years


A little less than 25 years


Less than 10 years

A Comparison of Growth Rates

looking at purchasing power parity ppp
Looking at Purchasing Power Parity(PPP)
  • In the 1970s economists considered if official income numbers were a good reflection of differences between countries
  • For example, an income of $200 per year would not be enough to live in the US (not even necessities could be purchased on this income)
  • Thus, converting the income in one country to US dollars using the market exchange rate gives distorted numbers – the market exchange rate is not a good reflection of the purchasing power of a given currency in another country
  • For instance, the market exchange rate does not include goods that cannot be internationally traded, such as food and some services

Give Examples

exchange rate conversion
Exchange Rate Conversion
  • Many services (e.g., haircuts) and more than a few finished goods tend not to be traded internationally. This complicates the task of comparing per-capita GDP in one country with that of another country, as is required for the systematic analysis of economic development.
  • Suppose, for example, that a haircut in Hanoi, Vietnam costs 60,000 dong and the price of the same haircut in Baltimore is $20. Converting the former price using the exchange rate of 20, 000 dong yields $3. Obviously, this discounts the value of nontraded services produced and consumed in Hanoi (or, equivalently, exaggerates the value of the same services produced and consumed in Baltimore).
  • Purchasing-power parity estimates of GDP correct for this distortion.
    • Standard measure of dollar-equivalent GDP: Multiply GDP, as expressed in local currency, by exchange rate.
    • Purchasing-power parity measure: Evaluate all finished goods and services using U.S. prices.

Developing regions lag far behind the developed world in productivity measured as output per worker.

Source: Figure 2.3b, United Nations, Millenium Development Goals Report 2012, p.9.

are living standards of developing and devolved nations converging
Are Living Standards of Developing and Devolved Nations Converging?

Evidence of unconditional convergence is hard to find

But there is increasing evidence of “per capita income convergence,” weighting changes in per capita income by population size


”Colonial” / historical explanations



Lack of motivation

They are happy enough..

”Radical” explanations




Savings and capital


Human capital


Natural resources

Bad institutions, Law and order

Wrong policies

Policy recommendations…

The Basic Question….

Why are they (still) so poor ?????

nature and role of economic institutions
Nature and Role of Economic Institutions

Institutions provide “rules of the game” of economic life

Provide underpinning of a market economy

Include property rights; contract enforcement

Can work for improving coordination,

Restricting coercive, fraudulent and anti-competitive behavior

Providing access to opportunities for the broad population-

Constraining the power of elites, and managing conflict

Provision of social insurance

Provision of predictable macroeconomic stability

concepts for review
Concepts for Review

Absolute poverty

Brain drain

Capital stock


Crude birth rate

Dependency burden

Depreciation (of the capital stock)


Economic Institutions

Free trade

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross national income (GNI)

Human capital

Human Development Index (HDI)

Incomplete information


Least developed countries

Low-income countries (LICs)

Middle-income countries

Newly industrializing countries (NICs)

Purchasing power parity (PPP)

Resource endowment

Terms of trade

Value added