ISSUES IN CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT
Concepts and Indicators of Development
DEVELOPMENT: is a multi-dimensional process which brings about a continuous enhancement of the capabilities and welfare of all individuals in the society and the country as a whole.
Sustainable Development: a theory of development that views the process in a holistic light, encompassing social as well as economic development and emphasizing the importance of conserving the environment and natural resources.
Economic development: a process whereby the real per capita income of a country increases over a period of time (Martinussen). Economic growth: the steady process by which the productive capacity of the economy is increased over time to bring about rising levels of national output and income (Todaro & Smith).] Human development: a holistic portrayal of development obtained by putting human being at the center of the process (Mohammed 2007).
Economic Development Indicators:
Gross domestic product: a measure of the total good and services produced in an economy over a specified period of time, usually a year(Bannock, Baxter & Davis 2003)
Gross national product: this is the GDP of a country with adjustments made to include investments and other income from overseas generated by the country’s nationals, and deductions made for income earned in the country by persons abroad (Todaro & Smith 2004).
Per Capita income is the total income earned from goods and services produced by a country in one year divided by the total population for that country in that year.
Population growth rate: this is calculated by considering birth and death rates as well as migration statistics. Age dependency ratio: the ratio of dependents i.e. individuals younger than 15 and older than 65 in comparison to those ages 16 to 64 who are active in the economy.
Merits of the economic development approach:
It provides a standardized means of measuring development. It provides a starting point for classifying level of development and identifying some development needs. ·
It allows an easy comparison and ranking across different countries. ·
It provides a seemingly simple prescription to combat the high levels of underdevelopment that persist in developing countries.
GNP per capita does not account for all the economic activities that take place in a country, e.g. bartering transactions, subsistence farming, drug trade, domestic work (informal economy). ·
GNP per capita is recorded in US dollars but in different countries one dollar is able to buy more goods and services than in another. ·
GNP per capita does not show how the income or wealth is distributed. The increased income may be concentrated in the hands of a few. ·
GNP per capita does not take into account the social and environmental impact of economic development. Many countries which record increased economic growth do so at the expense of the environment. ·
Wealthy citizens have been known to bank their profits outside of the country. As a result, their income is not fully captured in the GNP. ·
The GNP is only a measure of economic growth and does not include such factors as non-market activities, e.g. pollution, resource depletion and environmental degradation.
NON- ECONOMIC INDICATORS
Non- economic factors of development are also referred to as indicators of Human Development. Since key concepts in Human development are based on equity, sustainability, empowerment and participation. The United Nations Human development Index was broadened to include: ·
Freedoms enjoyed by the population
Availability of Health Care (not just its existence)
Accessibility of housing and education
Crime Levels/ rate
Social and economic equalisation
This is an indicator that is used to measure the degree to which members of society are experiencing social mobility. Social and economic equalisation means the degree to which all groups are experiencing...
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