Distinguish Between Economic Growth and Economic Development. Discuss the Similarities and Differences, Among Your 3 Countries, in the Levels of Growth and Development. Suggest Reasons for the Differences.

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Economic growth is referred to the increase of per capita real gross domestic product over a period of time. Real GDP is a quantitative concept since it involves increased productive capacity in an economy, which leads to rising national output, incomes and living standards over time. Economic growth can occur from two main factors: 1.The increased use of resources such as land, labour, capital and entrepreneurial resources due to improvements in technology. 2.The increased productivity of existing resources use through increased labour and capital productivity.

In contrast, economic development is a qualitative process and refers to structural change of economic and social infrastructure in an economy, which allows an increase in the standard of living in a nation’s population.

Economic growth and development can vary from different countries, depending on their level of income, quality of life, environmental quality and the government’s involvement within the economy. The similarities and differences are evident in the Australian, Chinese and Indian economy.

The Australian market economy is one of the most competitive and strongest well-developed economies in the world, allowing it to have a relatively good economic growth and a high economic development. With a Gross Domestic Pay (GDP) of approximately 1 trillion US dollars, the country was ranked 17th largest economy (2009) by real GDP, representing about 1.7% of the World Economy. This has allowed Australia to have a high GDP of 38, 910 US dollars per capita. In recent months, the Australian economic growth rate has also accelerated, as Australia continues to maintain its’ strong and best performing economy in the developed world. The economy grew a seasonally by 1.2 percent in the June 2010 quarter, up from a revised 0.7 percent pace in the January-March period, the ABS reported. The 1.2 percent quarterly rate is the quickest since the June quarter of 2007, which indicates Australia’s strong recovery from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Australia’s recovery from the GFC is also evident from the decrease in the unemployment rate of 5.3% to 5.1% in September 2010. This indicates that Australia is close to full-employment in economic terms. The sustained economic growth has enabled Australia to experience a high economic development and a good quality of life. According to the United Nations Australia ranked as the 2nd best country to live in the world in 2009. These rankings measured by a certain criteria based on life expectancy, literacy rate, school enrolment, gender parity and the nation’s economy. In 2009, the United Nations Development Programme, reported Australia to have a very high literacy rate of 99 percent, which influences the growth in employment and overall growth in the economy. Therefore, it is evident that Australia has good economic growth with a very high economic development.

In contrast, China is a developing country with a centrally planned economic system. Currently China’s economic growth is the highest in the world, with a 10.3 percent growth in 2009. Compared to Australia, China has a considerably lower unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in 2009. However, compared to Australia, China also has a lower GDP of 6.567 US dollars per capita, which is likely due to the high population of the country. This also indicates that opposed to Australia, China does not enjoy the same benefits of the high economic development. Despite having a relatively high literacy rate of 93 percent, China still has a low quality of life, ranking 97th in the world according to the UN. China experiences a lower life expectancy of 73.1 compared to Australia’s 81.4. The infant mortality rate is 4.75, which is more than 4 times Australia’s infant mortality rate. This is most likely due to the Chinese’s government allocating less money on the health and welfare budget. The Australia government spends nearly 10 percent of their budget on health and between...
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