Explain the concept of economic development?

Explain the concept of economic development?
  • In economic terms, development has been understood as achieving sustainable rates of growth of income per-capita to enable the nation to expand its output faster than the population ( Todaro and Smith 2011).

  • Important to first distinguish between:
  1. Development as a state or condition-static
  2. Development as a process or course of change dynamic
  • Those countries that have not yet achieved these objectives are said to be ‘undeveloped’ and are often termed ‘less developed countries’ (LDCs).


  • Concept of Economic Development:

Development is process of improving the quality of all human lives with three equally important aspects. According to Michael Todaro there are three objectives of development:

1. Raising peoples’ living levels, i.e. incomes and consumption, levels of food, medical services, education through relevant growth processes

2. Creating conditions conducive to the growth of peoples’ self- esteem through the establishment of social, political and economic systems and institutions which promote human dignity and respect

3. Increasing peoples’ freedom to choose by enlarging the range of their choice variables, e.g. varieties of goods and services

Life Sustenance: The life-sustaining basic human needs include food, shelter, health and protection. When any one of these is absent or in critically short supply, condition of absolute “underdevelopment” exists.

Self-esteem: A second universal component of good life is self esteem a sense of worth and self respect of not being used as a tool by others for their own ends. Due to the significance attached to material values in developed nations, worthiness and esteem are now-a-days increasingly conferred only in countries that possess economic wealth and technological power those that have developed.

Freedom Arthur Lewis stressed the relationship between economic growth and freedom from servitude when he concluded that “the advantage of economic growth is not that wealth increases happiness, but that it increases the range of human choice.

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