Definition and Meaning of Economic Development


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The concept of economic development is dynamic and multidimensional. This concept is changing with time. Although it is a relatively new concept, It has gained popularity in a short period of time. This has become a separate branch of economics. This concept is related to developing countries because these countries are still suffering from poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality, Inadequate socio-economic infrastructure, etc. But developed countries have no such problems because they have already solved these problems. Here we will study the meaning and definition of Economic development, characteristics of developing countries and indicators of development, the process of capital formation and unemployment and its type.


Meaning and Definition of Economic Development


The various economists and development thinkers nave defined Economic development in different ways. In general, it is related to the economic well being of people of a country. Though economic development has been a concern of economists' rights from Adam Smith, it received greater attention after the Second World War. After this, many poor countries of the world aimed to promote economic development.

During the 1950s and 1960s, economic development was defined as the increase in per capita income over a long period of time. It was also defined as the increase
In real GNP Over a long period of time. The major definitions of economic development of the 1950s and 1960s are as follows:

According to Arthur Lewis economics can be defined as, "Economic development means the increase in per capita productions."

According to G.M. Meier economics can be defined as, "Economic development is the process whereby the real per Capita income of a country increase over a long period of time  subject to the stipulations that the number below absolute poverty does not increase, and the distribution of income doesn't become more unequal."

According to P.A. Baron economics can be defined as "Economic development is the increase in per capita output of material goods".

According to Kindleberger economics can be defined as, "Economic development means more output and changes in technical and institutional arrangements by which it is produced and distributed.

According to Mrs. Hicks economics can be defined as, "Economic development concerns the development of unused resources."

The above definitions of economic development focus on the increase in per capita income or output or real GNP. But these definitions could not pay attention to real problems faced by less developed or developing countries of Africa and Latin America. These countries achieved a higher growth rate but the majority of people Of these countries were the same as they were. The fruit of economic development and growth was not received by the majority of the people of these countries. During the 1960s, the problems of poverty, unemployment, and income inequality further worsened instead of getting reduced in the developing countries. That's why Professor Dudley Seers gave the meaning of economic development according to a new perception.

The meaning of economic development according to professor Dudley Seers


"Economic development is the reduction in unemployment, poverty and income inequality."

According to Michael P. Todaro meaning of development


"Economic development is the multidimensional process having more changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions, as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality, and the eradication of absolute poverty."

Recently, the concept of economic development is widened. It involves not only a reduction in poverty, inequality, and unemployment but also improvement in the quality of life, which includes a cleaner environment, better education, good health, and nutrition. 

Meaning of Economic development According toThe World Development Report, 1991 


"The challenges of economic development are to improve the quality of life. Especially in the world's poor nations, a better quality of life often calls for higher incomes but it involves much more. It encompasses as ends in themselves good education, a higher standard of health and nutrition, less poverty, a neat and  environment, more equality of opportunity, greater individual freedom, and richer cultural life."
From this definition, it is clear that economic development is a multidimensional process, which involves major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, national institutions, as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and eradication of poverty.

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