Development As An Economic And A Non-Economic Process

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Development As An Economic And A Non-Economic Process

Development As An Economic And A Non-Economic Process

Development economics looks at the economic, social, political and institutional changes needed to bring about large-scale rapid improvements in the human well being, especially for poor people in developing countries.

Economic growth is an increase in a country's real level of national output as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The rate of economic growth can be defined as the percentage (%) rise in real GDP over one year. (Hanley 2008: 77-108)

Development is supposedly calculated by results performance which means that the development occurs when key indicators of human well-being progress. A reduction of poverty, inequality and unemployment and economic growth within a growing economy points to successful development outcomes.

Development is also a process involving change in a number of economic factors and non economic factors including the: (Counsell 2008: 225-239)

Economic: structural change in sectors e.g. from agriculture to manufacturing dominating GDP, improved infrastructure;

Social: people move from rural to cities leaving behind a way of life;

Cultural: e.g. appointment on merit rather than on the basis of traditional loyalty to family or tribe

Political: laws enforcing property rights and contracts emerge.

Karl Marx's theorizing on economic development was interpreted within the construct of 'economic interpretation of history' and 'the motivating forces of capitalistic development'. Marx further his theorizing beyond that of Smith's perspective when he that, “[Marx] 'materialistic' conceptual of historical evolution, according to which economic institutions, while they are products of social evolution, are themselves capable of influencing the course of social progress.” Although Marx partially supported Smith's theorizing on economic development, he ventures into non-economic explanations of development. He, however, had a casual and distant relationship with the sociological factors. (Hanley 2008: 77-108)

Development is primarily a social and economic process. It is promoted to meet national and local objectives; but it often has uneven effects, benefiting some at the expense of others. There is growing concern about the sustainability of many development interventions, not only in terms of their environmental impacts but also with respect to social and economic effects. (Collard 2005: 56-60)

Economic development in knowledgeable circles has a missing dimension; the non-economic, which is not quantifiable. Development, a leading sector in national transformation, is rooted in nonmaterial factors and requires a positive feedback between culture, economy, and polity. I would invite attention to an insightful comment from a practising professional economist: 'The need for economic growth in a developing country has few if any economic springs. It arises from a desire to assume full status by taking part in an industrial Civilisation, participation in which alone enables a nation or individual to compel others to treat it as an equal. Inability to take part in it makes a nation militarily powerless against neighbours, administratively unable to control its own citizens, and culturally incapable of speaking the international language'. The functioning of a developmental state has to be viewed in the context of regional and international geopolitical environments. (Barbier 2006: 429)

Not only does an inequitable land tenure system ...
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