AIMS: By the end of this chapter, you will be able to i define development as opposed to economic growth, ii understand other measures of development. Traditional definition: In the past, development was about the capacity of a national economy to generate and sustain on annual increase in its gross national product GNP or gross domestic product GDP. The above are basically definitions of economic growth. We probably want a more wholistic definition of development.
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AIMS: By the end of this chapter, you will be able to i define development as opposed to economic growth, ii understand other measures of development. Traditional definition: In the past, development was about the capacity of a national economy to generate and sustain on annual increase in its gross national product GNP or gross domestic product GDP. The above are basically definitions of economic growth.
We probably want a more wholistic definition of development. Dudley Seers suggested that development is when a country experiences a reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Edgar Owens suggested that development is when there is development of people human development and not development of things. According to the World Development Report WDR : "The challenge of development… is to improve the quality of life…better education, higher standards of health and nutrition, less poverty, a cleaner environment, more equality of opportunity, greater individual freedom, and a richer cultural life.
Sustenance: The ability to meet basic needs- food shelter, health, and protection. Without sustenance and continuous economic progress, the realization of human potential will be greatly hindered. According to Human Development Report HDR , "The purpose of development is to create an environment in which all people can expand their capabilities, and opportunities can be enlarged for both present and future generation.
Development has to be sustainable. Self-Esteem: To be a Person. Denis Goulet believes that development is an important way of gaining self-esteem. HDR also appears to make this link.
The cover of HDR proclaims that "Human rights and human development. Any society committed to improving the lives of its people must also be committed to full and equal rights for all. Economic growth allows individual to expands their range of human choice. Take for example, a richer person can decide when and where at to take a vacation but a poor wage earner may not even have that choice because a day without work may mean a day without meal.
UNDP: "The goal is human freedom. And in pursuing capabilities and realising rights, this freedom is vital. People must be free to exercise their choices and to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. One reason for their absence is because some countries view this measure as sensitive. You may want to check out Index of Economic Freedom available for individual countries, updated yearly for interest sake. But this measure is not the same as a measure of self-esteem and freedom from servitude.
Thus, the three objectives of Development are To increase food, shelter, health care and protection security. To raise levels of living. To expand the range of economic and social choices available to individuals.
What is economic growth? We could also define economic growth as the increase in the production possibilities frontier PPF that results from an increase in the supply of resources or an improvement in technology. However, it is rather difficult to measure and construct PPF in reality. We thus need a easier measure of economic growth. Measuring growth. If we use the concept of economic growth to indicate the change in real income presumably growth in PPF and real income is proportional then we need to adjust our previous measures for inflation rates.
See table 1 below. Table 1.
Discussing – “The meaning of Development” by Dudley Seers
Dudley Seers while elaborating on the meaning of development suggests that while there can be value judgements on what is development and what is not, it should be a universally acceptable aim of development to make for conditions that lead to a realisation of the potentials of human personality. The capacity to obtain physical necessities, particularly food; ii. A job not necessarily paid employment but including studying, working on a family farm or keeping house; iii. Belonging to a nation that is truly independent, both economically and politically; and vi. Adequate educational levels especially literacy.
What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? Simply put, economic growth is not synonymous with economic development. Conceptualizing development as an all encompassing phenomenon, Seers defined it as the realization of the potential of human personality. In other words, development can and will only take place when an individual has realized his or her full potential. Ultimately, this all round definition provides a better understanding of the concept and how issues surrounding it should be addressed by all stakeholders including researchers and academics, technocrats, politicians and world leaders. And this may have laid the foundation for the works of famous scholars like Amartya Sen and Mahbub ul Haq who are champions of human development theory.