Economic development is the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. Economic development can also be referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy. Such actions can involve multiple areas including development of human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives. Economic development differs from economic growth. Whereas economic development is a policy intervention endeavor with aims of economic and social well-being of people, economic growth is a phenomenon of market productivity and rise in GDP. Consequently, as economist Amartya Sen points out: “economic growth is one aspect of the process of economic development.The scope of economic development includes the process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
The University of Iowa's Center for International Finance and Development states that:
'Economic development' is a term that economists, politicians, and others have used frequently in the 20th century. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. Modernization, Westernisation, and especially Industrialisation are other terms people have used while discussing economic development. Economic development has a direct relationship with the environment.
Although nobody is certain when the concept originated, most people agree that development is closely bound up with the evolution of capitalism and the demise of feudalism.
Mansell and When also state that economic development has been understood since the World War II to involve economic growth, namely the increases in per capita income, and (if currently absent) the attainment of a standard of living equivalent to that of industrialized countries. Economic development can