Problmes with Defining Development

Topics: Human Development Index, Economics, Life expectancy Pages: 2 (427 words) Published: October 8, 2007
Problems with defining development
Development is a complicated and a complex process driven by many variables including economic, political and social. Development cannot be simply defined as it changes with context; how it is defined changes within economic, social, cultural or even in a political context. Economically, development is measured using G.N.P. and G.D.P.; development is measured on the base of wealth, standard of living etc. G.D.P. (Gross Domestic Product) is a measure of a countries economic performance. It is the market value of all goods and services produced within the boundaries of a country within a year. G.N.P. (Gross National Product) is the same as G.D.P. however it includes the "invisible" goods such as stocks and shares, capital generated from tourism etc. Both are limited in terms of a measure of development because accurate data is hard to find, currency rates vary on a daily basis so it is difficult to put and accurate value on goods, subsistence industries and farming production do not enter the market economy and are therefore not measured, Per capita G.N.P. hides the internal distribution of wealth within a country; they are crude averages meaning they do not reflect the geographical inequalities in wealth within the countries borders. The human development index (HDI) uses three development indices to assess development: real capita income, measures of adult literacy and life expectancy at birth. Countries are placed on a scale from 0 – 1; the nearer to 1 the more developed the country is. The HDI would be used as a social measure of development, but has its problems. Firstly they do not reflect inequalities in income distribution, there is no agreement over which social indicator to use, the rights of the people are not include such as lack of freedom of speech in dictatorships, is development not about inter-dependance between countries, how can this be measured? The problem with defining development is that literally it is...
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