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Development Economics

Why Do We Study Economic Development?

In the 17th century there emerged Industrial Revolution in Europe accompanied by a wider use of machines rather manpower; there was a chain of discoveries and the production increased many a time in the economies like UK, France and Germany. Afterwards, this process of change spread over to US and Japan etc.

But the effects of the Industrial Revolution could not spread all over the world, particularly the countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa failed to get the benefits of the industrial revolution. They remained entrapped in the clutches of poverty and hunger.

In this way, on economic grounds, the world divided into two parts. On the one side, there were those countries where the incomes, output and employment went on rising. Such countries are given the name of Developed Countries. On the other side, there were those countries which were furnished with poverty, illiteracy, diseases, unemployment, low incomes and low output levels. Such countries were given the name of Less Developed or Backward Countries.

All this means that in the world on the one side there is North Pole of Affluence and on the other side there is South Pole of Wretchedness. This is the reason that the rich countries are called North while the poor countries are called South.

Till a time, the poor countries did not notice of their poverty. They considered their poverty, hunger, starvation and diseases as something natural. But after World War II when the colonialism broke the newly independent countries thought for a change to get the benefits of industrial development; improve the standard of living of their masses; and remove illiteracy and unemployment. Thus, after World War II, the Desire to Change rose amongst the poor nations of the world.

It was the International Media which played an important role in the motivation for change. The radio, films, newspapers, journals and magazines created awareness among the people of backward nations of the world. They came to know about the life standards of the people residing in the developed countries.

Moreover, the foreigners who lived in the British and French colonies also created some inspiration for change among the local population. With these factors the initiative for Better Change have had its start.

Accordingly, the poor nations of the world are engaged in the removal of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, economic stagnation, starvation and environmental pollution. But the poor nations of the world cannot allocate such a long time to remove such all problems. Moreover, the socioeconomic setup of the developing countries does not permit for the rapid change.

But despite such all obstacles and problems the less developed countries are over-ambitious to develop their economics as soon as possible, particularly in the situation where the international inequalities are rising day by day. If we draw a line of demarcation between the poor and the rich countries of the world at $1000, it means that the nations whose income per capita income below $1000 are the poor nations while the countries whose income per capita above $1000 are the rich countries.

Such fact reveals that 20% of the work population controls over 70% of the world’s income and the major part of s income is taken away by the population residing in the West. While 80% of the world population which resides in Asia, Africa and Latin America just commands over 30% of the world income.

Moreover, not only the rich countries take away a lion’s share of the world incomes, but the gap in respect of income distribution at the world level is also increasing. According to World Bank Report (2005) the per capita income of European countries was $41100, while it was $1630 in case of East Asian countries and it was $750 in case of Sub-Saharan Africa. Such disparities in the distribution of income represent Development Gap.

The development gap not only rises due to difference in growth of incomes; but the basic differences in income levels are also responsible for such development gap. developed country is represented by country A whose per capita income is $10,000 It is explained as: We suppose that a While a poor country is represented by country B who’s per capita per annum. income is $1000 per annum.

If per capita income of both of these countries A and B increases by 2%, then after one year the per capita income of the country A will move to $11200 and that of the country B will move to $1020. The basic gap between A and B which was of $9000 went to $10180.

Therefore, if a poor country wishes to remove such development gap of $9000 its per capita income should increase by 20% per annum. For this purpose, the poor country will have to allocate a major share of its resources to enhance its per capita income. But the poor countries lack the resources both the physical as well as financial.

As a result, in such countries the lever of income remains obstructed. Moreover, in such poor countries there is big population pressure which is offsetting the smaller increase in per capita and national income. Thus, in such state of affairs, the poor countries remain backward.

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